Sunday, 28 February 2016

3 Ways to be Mindful through the day

2015 was here and disappeared quickly, so I thought the beginning of 2016 was a good time to talk about practising Mindfulness and Living In The Moment. People often have problems with dwelling on the past with Depression and worrying about the future with Anxiety, so learning to concentrate on the here and now becomes a useful tool. Here are tried and tested tips I can recommend.

1. Experience something in your day fully.   Whether it be a cup of tea, your daily shower or a workout, choose one thing to give your undivided attention to and really take note and appreciate every little detail.
As you make your tea notice the water pouring into the cup and swirl around. Watch as the steam rises. Breathe in the warm aroma of the tea. Feel the warmth of the cup with your hands. Take a sip and follow the warm liquid as it makes its way past your lips and down the throat. Indulge in each sip and do nothing else but enjoy this cup of tea until the end. Note the sounds around you, the thoughts that come to mind and the feelings you experience throughout the process. Don't feel guilty about dedicating the time and all of your thoughts to this one task. It is five minutes out of your day, leaving plenty of time to rush around and endure the rest of the hectic day.

2. Note 3 things from your day that brought you joy and/or gratitude. Obviously this should be done in the later part of the day and could be written in a journal or even on social media or discussed and shared at the dinner table. This reminds us that whether the day has been generally good or bad, there is always some things to be grateful for.

3. Practice some mindful breathing. Take the time to sit or lay quietly, still your body and breath deeply and purposefully down into the stomach. Feel the breath coming into the nostrils and follow its course down into the lungs. Place your hands on your stomach and feel the rise and fall as you breathe. Feel your lungs deflate as you blow each breath out slowly and completely. Close your eyes and concentrate on each breath, clearing your mind as you do so. Let thoughts come and go as you keep bringing your focus back to the breath coming in the nostrils, follow it path down to the lungs. Imagine the life giving breath swirling around your body, travelling to your muscles, organs and blood. Feel the breath sooth and relax your muscles.

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