What is mindfulness? We hear so much about it, but do you know what it is? Mindfulness is a type of meditation.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/
It allows you to focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Mindfulness can be achieved in just a few minutes. You do not need an hour to meditate. In the book Mindfulness On The Go, author Padraig O’Morain gives wonderful ideas on how to practice mindfulness in just moments and they fit into your busy life. https://www.padraigomorain.com/mindfulness-on-the-go-book/
Some of the benefits of mindfulness are:
– it lowers stress
– it lowers anxiety
– it can lower the risk of depression
– it allows you to handle anger in a different way
– it allows you to handle resentment in a different way
– it allows to you accept things that you can not change
– it can boost your creativity
One exercise that I personally like to do with my son, he just turned 12, when he is feeling overwhelmed and anxious is what I call the rule of 5. He has to close his eyes and tell me 5 things that he can hear while taking deep breaths. He has to tell me things that he smells (this is usually less than 5) and he has to tell me 5 things that he can feel.
Usually the conversation goes something like, “I hear the car passing on the road, the neighbors dog barking, the bird singing, the air/heat just turned on, and my breathing. I smell the simmering pot, I feel my clothes, I feel the air on my skin, I feel the cats fur, I feel my breathing, I feel the blanket…..
By the end of the exercise he is calmer. He is more relaxed. This is just mindfulness. It brings him back to a center and then we can talk about what was going on to cause him the stress in the beginning.
Check out Padriag O’Morain on Twitter talking about mindfulness. https://twitter.com/PadraigOMorain?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor