Mindfulness is a skill that we can learn and it takes practice. Mindfulness brings our attention to the 'here and now' not the 'there and then' of anxiety about the future. It's magic, it's not a new fad, anyone can learn it and it is medication-free. Please be curious and contact us if you'd like to know more about mindfulness and how it can help your mental health.
Try these simple techniques for bringing mindfulness more fully into your day:
− When you first wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths.
− Notice changes in your posture. Be aware of how your body and mind feel when you move from lying down to sitting, to standing, to walking. Notice each time you make a transition from one posture to the next.
− Whenever you hear a phone ring, a bird sing, a train pass, laughter, a car horn, the wind, the sound of a door closing – use any sound as the bell of mindfulness. Really listen and be present and awake.
− Throughout the day, take a few moments to bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths.
− Whenever you eat or drink something, take a minute and breathe. Look at your food and realise that the food was connected to something that nourished its growth. Can you see the sunlight, the rain, the earth, the farmer, the trucker in your food? Pay attention as you eat, consciously consuming this food for your physical health. Bring awareness to seeing your food, smelling your food, tasting your food, chewing your food, and swallowing your food.
− Notice your body while you walk or stand. Take a moment to notice your posture. Pay attention to the contact of the ground under your feet. Feel the air on your face, arms, and legs as you walk. Are you rushing?
− Bring awareness to listening and talking. Can you listen without agreeing or disagreeing, liking or disliking, or planning what you will say when it is your turn? When talking, can you just say what you need to say without overstating or understating? Can you notice how your mind and body feel?
− Whenever you wait in a line, use this time to notice standing and breathing. Feel the contact of your feet on the floor and how your body feels. Bring attention to the rise and fall of your abdomen. Are you feeling impatient?
− Be aware of any points of tightness in your body throughout the day. See if you can breathe into them and, as you exhale, let go of excess tension. Is there tension stored anywhere in your body? For example, your neck, shoulders, stomach, jaw, or lower back? If possible, stretch or do yoga once a day.
− Focus attention on your daily activities such as brushing your teeth, washing up, brushing your hair, putting on your shoes, doing your job. Bring mindfulness to each activity.
− Before you go to sleep at night, take a few minutes and bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths.