Pablo Picasso said
Think about your day so far.......
How many minutes were spent thinking about something that has already happened?
How many minutes have you spent thinking or worrying about something that has not happened yet?
How much time have you spent being critical of something, or complaining, or comparing?
Now count them up.... pretty many right?
Here is my take on mindfulness.......
The concept of mindfulness
serves the purpose of
reducing the energy we spend on
things that we cannot control,
to recognize thought patterns
that do not serve us and
to be more fully present
to experience the gifts at hand.
Research has supported the fact that by learning to incorporate
mindfulness throughout your day,
you may experience some of the following benefits:
Boosts to working memory
Less emotional reactivity
More cognitive flexibility
Sounds good right?
Mindfulness creates a quality of mind.
As we learn to clearly identify what we are experiencing,
we can react in a more supportive appropriate manner.
Here are some examples of how mindfulness can redirect our actions and self-talk.....
Maybe in a heat filled moment with family or children,
a practice of mindfulness may help you to remember to take one breath before reacting...
It may give you that gift of a pause before we take an action we may regret.
Maybe you face a certain challenge and you find yourself
beating yourself up when you fall short of what you "think" should be happening...
a practice of mindfulness may help you to remember that you are a person,
a human being, and you learn to speak to yourself with a gentler voice.
Maybe you simply have too much going on all of the time,
you feel overloaded and overwhelmed...
a practice of mindfulness can help unpack all the "stuff"
and put it is compartments that can each be addressed in their own time and space.
The magic of mindfulness is that it can be practiced anywhere.
You can be mindful anywhere, anyplace, any time.
Mindfulness can help you
achieve your goals
When you can begin to look at life in a different manner, you watch yourself change your thinking - about the world and more importantly yourself.
The ability to see your world through a different lens will enable you to have a gentler tone with your self-talk. As you begin to observe what you say to yourself (consciously or subconsciously), you will begin to dissect all the things that do not serve you - or more importantly, are false beliefs.
How does this help with goals? We set goals because there is something we want to do to change ourselves or improve the world in some way. If you have carried years and years of strict unkind, high demanding self talk, it is easy to be very very tough on yourself. With mindfulness, you can observe and not judge, you can begin to let things go, you can begin to speak to yourself in a gentler tone. Would a good friend berate you for a derailment or a rough day? ....probably not. When we are mindful, we can learn kindness and gratitude for the self.
Mindfulness focuses on the here and now, where we are now, and that is a gift that always brings the opportunity of starting fresh and taking the steps toward whatever we are working on.
Worrying about what we should have done yesterday or what we need to do tomorrow really doesn't help us accomplish anything now.
Being mindful will help put some perspective on what you spend your time on. Are certain activities or tasks necessary? Are they bringing you joy or enhancing you life or the life of someone you love?
When we can be with our current thougths and feelings, we can be more fully present to enjoy and experience the right now. And when we have spent more minutes in our day feeling satisfied with how we have spent our time , I promise you will feel like it has been a fulfilling and productive day.
Make today the day
that you let go
of all the things
that no longer serve you....
Here is a quick exercise you can do to
start practicing mindfulness right now......
Sit in a comfortable position......
With your inhale say to yourself - I embrace this inhale....
and with your exhale say - I release this exhale
and then.... just pause.
I embrace this inhale....
I release this exhale....
and then.... just pause.
Do several rounds of this with your eyes closed. Simply by bringing your attention to the breath, you are able to release your mind from mental activities that may not be serving you (ruminating, worry, anger)
Try it, you might like it!
During Routine Activities
Taking a shower
Taking your first step outdoors
Waiting in line
When you feel stressed, sit up straight and take three deep breaths
Take one minute of the day to focus on the sensations of the breath
Noice where you feel the breath - the abdomen, the lungs, the nose?
Awareness in your Body
Notice your breathing
Close your eyes and release any stress in your forehead,
cheeks and jaw
Check in with your posture
On your Gadgets
Take a deep breath
before checking email
Set your phone alarm to remind you to breathe
Once in a while, leave the tech stuff at home when you go for a walk or run, and just pay attention to the natural world
Awareness with Others
Focus on making eye contact with others, on really seeing them
Practice mindful listening — are you truly listening, or are you looking for your chance to jump in?
Look your children in the eye and really listen to them
Make bed time the best time to fully engage
Take a breath and make a mental shift when shifting from work to home routine.