Be Present: Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is such a powerful state of being. Have you heard of it? Have you tried it?

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. Be in the moment and put aside the past and the future.

Practicing mindfulness improves both mental and physical health. It, not only gives you that necessary few moments of silence, but it also gives you a chance to be aware of and to reflect on how you’re feeling right now and without judgement. It teaches you how to self-regulate your attention. Your mind will wander, that is completely normal. The more often you redirect your thoughts back to within the moment, you are further teaching the self-regulation process.

If you have never tried any type of meditation before, here are a few steps to get you started. I suggest starting small with only 2-3 minutes. Do this daily (or multiple times each day) and work up to longer periods. It has been shown that Mindfulness can help with mood disorders, memory, concentration, focus, and just overall a more positive outlook.

Steps to Follow:
1. Sit on a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor or sit cross-legged on the floor. I also find that lying flat on the floor – think Corpse pose – works well
2. Close your eyes (or don’t, it is completely up to you). Focus on one aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale. I even place my hands on my belly to physically feel the rise and fall. 
3. Once you’ve narrowed your concentration, begin to broaden your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas and feelings. Be aware of these things, but do not pass judgement.
4. Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to wander, simply redirect your focus back to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

As I said, just a few minutes a day can be helpful to your overall wellness.

Do you practice any form of meditation or mindfulness? What tips do you have for newbies?

Until Next Time,
Meg

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