Mindfulness is not just for the trendies, or the hippies, it’s for all of us. Mindfulness is becoming the antidote to the busyness in our lives. I was recently asked, “do I do mindful?” I don’t practice it as a therapy to clients, but it raised the question to myself, do I do it? Yes I do !:)
Mindfulness isn’t just the thing you practice during a 10-minute morning meditation. It can be something mixed in throughout your daily life by simply paying a little more attention to your activities as you are in that moment.
You could start by engaging in your creative play, that could be putting out the washing, gardening or even playing your favourite sport. See what happens to your thoughts, sometimes they flow. You become in the moment with your surrounding and let life just be. Even if it’s just for a short time.
How to be mindful.
Start by the focus on your breathe. Meditation master Thich Nhat Hahn describes the most foundational and most effective mindfulness practice, mindful breathing, in Shambhala Sun: “So the object of your mindfulness is your breath, and you just focus your attention on it. Breathing in, this is my in-breath. Breathing out, this is my out-breath. When you do that, the mental discourse will stop. You don’t think anymore. You don’t have to make an effort to stop your thinking; you bring your attention to your in-breath and the mental discourse just stops. That is the miracle of the practice. You don’t think of the past anymore. You don’t think of the future. You don’t think of your projects, because you are focusing your attention, your mindfulness, on your breath.”
Get outside. Go out and spend time in nature, get drunk on fresh air and light. Smell the green grass and the flowers. It’s a powerful recharge and gives the body the rush of endorphins again. Take off your shoes, feel the grass under your feet, laugh with the birds, feel the sun or rain on your cheeks. Lie back and be in your moment. Feel your thoughts. Mindfulness isn’t about being happy all the time. It’s about acceptance in the moment. Allowing yourself to feel whatever you feel without trying to resist or control it. Excessively trying to be happy all the time can be counterproductive. It can lead to an unhealthy attitude towards negative emotions and experiences. Mindful people don’t try to avoid negative emotions or always look on the bright side — rather, accepting both positive and negative emotions and letting different feelings run along side each other. Mindful eating. We are hungry, so we eat. Can you always remember the lemon zest or the hint of coriander, running through your healthy salad lunch. Not always, as this time you had to rush to get to meeting. Mindful people make a practice of listening to their bodies — and they consciously nourish themselves with healthy foods, prepared and eaten with care. Sit down to eat, take time to acknowledge the tastes and sensations.
As a holistc therapist, I get my clients in the “zone”. Help to distress and unwind, offer self help tips to get less stressed. But it is easier said than done. It’s also frustrating when you don’t know how. Knowing how to relax is vital for ensuring your health and well-being, as well as restoring the passion and joy in your life.
I hope this mindful chat has brought you closer to being in your moment.