Definition of Mindfulness: According to the Oxford Dictionary – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used a therapeutic technique.
Per the Mayo Clinic being mindful can help with conditions such as fibromyalgia, asthma, stress, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure. It is also said to help with improving attention, decreasing burnout, improving sleep and improving diabetes control.
Things you can do everyday to be mindful:
- Pay attention – take time to experience your environment with all of your senses
- Live in the moment and find joy in the simple pleasures
- Accept yourself and treat yourself the way you would a friend
- Focus on your breathing – Take a minute to sit down and focus on how your breath moves in and out of your body.
Today, we are going to be doing a little mindful balancing.
- To begin, please stand
- Ground yourself with a few deep breaths and bring yourself to the present moment
- If you have any thoughts rushing through your mind, that is ok, acknowledge that they are there and then bring your attention back to the hear and now.
- Now, I am going to ask you to raise one foot and balance on the other.
- You may or may not be struggling at the moment, and that is ok.
- Pay attention to the muscles in your grounded ankle and leg
- How is your body feeling in general?
- What does it feel like to want to put your raised foot on the floor.
- Now, take just a few deep breaths and only focus on your breath
Some other mindful exercises that you can do on your own are
Walking Meditation – Take a nice short walk outside, preferably somewhere where you won’t come across vehicles or near anything that could cause harm to you. As you walk, pay attention to how your foot hits the ground, look around at your surroundings and take in the colors and the environment in general, you may even notice something that you never noticed before, listen to your surroundings, are there birds chirping, water flowing, is there a breeze blowing. How does that sound. Smell the air, what does it smell like.
Mindful Eating – Take the time and sit down for a meal or a snack alone. Before taking a bite, look at what you are about to put in your mouth, pay attention to what it looks like, the color, the texture, notice all of the details of it. Smell it, what does it smell like, is it a pleasant smell? Once you put it in your mouth, feel the texture, notice the taste, slowly chew it and allow yourself to truly taste it.
Coloring – Go raid your kids stash and pull out a coloring book, if you don’t have kids, invest in a coloring book, either a kid one or one of the adult ones…or go online and print out a coloring page. And sit down and color a picture. Be mindful of the colors you choose and why you chose each color. How does it feel to move from an empty picture to a completed picture?
Journaling – Spend a few minutes each morning thinking about your day ahead and the things you would like to accomplish….or…..a few minutes each evening recapping your day and how you feel about how the day went. You don’t need to write pages or spend hours…even if it’s only a paragraph or so…something to get your emotions out.
These are just a few other recommendations to try. Something you can do to take a time out in your day…even if it is just for a couple of minutes and recenter yourself.