Mindfulness helps you become less reactive, less emotional, more compassionate, more self aware, productive, present and loving.
Mindfulness is not just about meditating or going on a spiritual journey.
It is for everyone and can be practiced every single day at any moment.
It is about becoming more aware and paying full attention to what you are doing, how and what you are feeling. It is being present and aware of your thoughts when you are doing something, and you are able to really enjoy each moment of life. We bring our attention to the here and now and let go of thoughts about the past or future.
Life slows down and we create a sense of calm. It is not uncommon that we are thinking about a million other things while we are doing one thing. I’ll be the first to put my hand up to admitting that this is definitely something that I do often.
So how can we start on our mindfulness journey?
Firstly I would dedicate at least a few minutes a day to paying attention to your breath. Start to deepen the breath and bring your awareness to the sensations of your breath entering and exiting your nostrils, the rise and fall of your chest or belly. Notice the sense of calm and presence that washes over you as you notice your breath. After all we breathe all day, and don’t take notice of it at all, it’s something we do all day every day even while we sleep, completely unconsciously.
So become conscious.
You can do this anywhere, so do it often especially if you’re feeling flustered or anxious. It’s a great way to calm the nervous system and ground you.
For a more effective calming experience, close your eyes and lengthen the time you spend doing it.
If you want to start learning meditation, I would start with guided ones from YouTube or joining a group.
Want to enjoy your food more?
Slow it down…
If you are eating in a rush all the time, try to organise your schedule a little better so you can start to really enjoy your meal times. Chew your food properly, and start to pay more attention to the taste, smell and texture of what you eat. Sometimes you really have to just stop and concentrate as you chew to really taste the yumminess of what you’re eating.
I always do it with chocolate, and am starting to do it more often with my meals. It is a conscious effort and you do have to remind yourself until you get into the habit of mindfulness. Soon it will come naturally.
Mindful eating is also about really listening to what your body needs and desires, it is about making more conscious meal choices, feeling more satisfied and paying more attention to why we are choosing to eat the foods we eat.
Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself about your eating habits -
Are you eating because you are hungry or because you are bored?
Do the foods that you are choosing to eat make you feel energised or sluggish?
Are you listening to your body when you are full, or are you over eating?
Do you enjoy eating? (if not, because you always have quick rushed meals, make time more often to eat with family and friends, or to eat on a park bench enjoying the scenery and taste of your food)
Mindful movement & exercise
Start walking mindfully in nature. Instead of just walking pay more attention to the trees, the scenery, listen to the sounds of the birds, the sound of wind in the trees, the waves if you’re by the ocean. Pay attention to your breath, your heart rate as it increases as you walk, what you can smell.
I love to take my shoes & socks off and feel the sand or grass beneath my feet. This is also known to be very energising and grounding; it is called ‘Earthing’ - absorbing the natural source of energy created by the Earth. This can also be done on dirt or rock and can be extremely healing.
Yoga is the perfect way to learn mindful exercise and practice mindfulness, as you will be reminded by your instructor to stay connected and aware of your body and breath. It is an exercise where you focus on slowing down the mind and thoughts, and pay attention to your feelings. You learn to enjoy the movements and listen to what your body needs. I highly recommend yoga as part of your mindfulness journey.
Check out my website to see what yoga classes I have to offer - www.whispawellness.com.au
Other mindfulness tips
Check in with yourself daily, become more aware of how you are really feeling and what is really going on with your thoughts and emotions. Take a moment to allow your feelings to surface - once you become aware of them, they no longer have control over you and you are able to let them go.
Try to use all of the mindfulness techniques mentioned above in everything that you do - take notice of your surroundings while you drive, feel the warm water on your skin as you shower, enjoy all moments mindfully and present.
If repetitive, unproductive thoughts have taken control, I recommend you write them down and rip them up - once they’re out of your mind and onto something physical, it’s likely that your mind will start to quiet down. It’s also a good time to take a few deep conscious breaths.
Please comment your thoughts, questions, experiences below.
Lots of love & good vibes – Whispa Wellness