Mindfulness - Even if you’ve never been to therapy a day in your life, you’ve likely heard this word. It’s a “trendy” concept in today’s society, but people often associate it with meditation + yoga, leaving many feeling like mindfulness is “not for me.” I’m here to tell you otherwise!
“I mean, I’ve heard of mindfulness before, but I don’t reeeeally know what it is...” Mindfulness is simply being fully aware of yourself and your environment. It’s about tuning in to what’s going on with your bodily sensations, your feelings, your surroundings, and the components of the environment around you, like the chair you’re sitting in right now. Mindfulness comes without judgement - you don’t judge what thoughts or feelings come up, and you don’t decide whether they’re right or wrong. You simply become aware of what you’re experiencing in the present moment, without focus on the past or the future. “Um...okay, but how would that help me?” I’m glad you asked. By becoming more aware of what we experience and the environments we most often experience them in, we can begin to have influence over our OWN feelings. That’s right, you really can control how you feel! Mindfulness also helps with depression, anxiety, stress relief, weight gain, restlessness, and overthinking. “Well, that would be nice...but I can never seem to clear my mind. And I’m always busy! How could I be mindful?” Don’t worry, I’m here to give you a few quick and easy ideas you can try today:
1️⃣ Slow down. I know, it sounds simple enough, and I know you’re busy, but think about it. Have you ever been driving home from work and realize you didn’t even remember making that last turn? It’s because your mind is not PRESENT in the current environment. Slow down and acknowledge your experience right in this moment. How does your back feel? What is the temperature like? Are your shoulders tight? (Relax, push those dang things back!) What is to the right and left of you? Pay attention to your current place in the world as you’re reading this! Notice something near you and truly observe it, as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Your relationship with your environment will instantly change...
2️⃣ 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Technique: Stop and identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste right now. This grounds you to your environment, getting you out of your emotional mind and resetting you to a more curious and objective mindset.
3️⃣ Breathe: Lower your eyes and pay attention as you breathe slowly in through your nose for 5 seconds, and out through your mouth for 5 seconds. Can you see your breath? Can you feel it? If you can’t feel it, rest your hand on your stomach, and feel it rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. Continue to do a few more deep breaths, focusing solely on what it feels like within your body as you breathe slowly and purposefully. Your body is a beautiful thing. If your mind wanders, acknowledge the thoughts that pop in and then lovingly redirect your focus back to your breathing. This will calm you down and connect your mind and body, re-energizing your focus.
I hope that these one-minute mindfulness tricks can be useful for you and help you grow in awareness of your body, thoughts, and environment. Got any of your own thoughts, tips, or ideas? Shoot me an email! Thinking mindfully of each of you. 💚🌿
art credit: tyler spangler