What is Mindfulness?
Being mindful is one of our most basic abilities as humans. To be absolutely present in the moment and not caught up in our own thoughts. All of us once upon a time had this capability but over time we lose our natural ability to stay in the moment.
But like with anything else this is a skill that can be learned and a ‘muscle’ that can be developed. Taking time out of your busy day to sit down breathe and be aware of what each and every one of your senses is experiencing.
“One of the goals of mindfulness is to get away from your thoughts for a time“
Try Mindfully Eating Your Favourite Food
This sounds convoluted but it’s actually easier than you think! Go out and grab your favourite food, whether that be; Pizza, Crackers, Watermelon or Chocolate. Put some time aside, alone to sit down and be mindful about what you’re eating (your inner culinary snob can come out here). What notes can your tongue detect in the food? How is the texture of the food on your tongue? Does it melt? Even if only for 5-10 minutes out of your day, it is doing your mind some much needed TLC!
Ten Deep Breaths
This one is a classic because we were all told as kids that deep breaths can help calm you down when you’re angry, and the teachers were right! Find a nice quiet and comfortable spot in your house, sit down, relax everything from your brow, unclench your jaw, let your shoulders drop. Then take in air steadily but slowly, 3-5 seconds in, hold for 3-5 seconds and then release for 3-5 seconds. Be aware of your posture, and focus on the air. Rinse and repeat for ten breaths. Your lungs will thank you!
Stretch And Be Aware Of Your Body
Many of us have reduced mobility or stiff muscles as it is, so the stretching will do us all some good! See if you can pinpoint some areas that might be tight for you. For many of us the; shoulders, upper back, hips and glutes tend to be the tightest. This one couldn’t be more simple either! Just have a quick google of some stretches, hold them for 1-3 minutes each being mindful of your body position, and focus on your breathing. Pick 2-3 stretches 1-2 times per day and not only will your mind be thanking you, the rest of your muscles as well!
When was the last time you picked up a pencil to create something interesting and cool?! (Notice how I didn’t use the word beautiful) Unless you are already a talented sketch artist the piece you create probably won’t be a gorgeous piece. But you almost certainly can create something mind-bogglingly interesting! Dig in the deepest recesses of your mind. And here pay attention to your lines and shapes and narrate to yourself as you draw, as if you were Bob Ross himself!
Stand up and take a breath and feel your feet in the earth.
Tune in to the body. Notice smaller sensations on your skin you may not have noticed before.
Observe your surroundings and take in the sights.
Possibility. Reflect on what is possible for you, your future and in the moment.
Even if you only implement one or two of these mindfulness techniques I’m sure you will notice some improvement in your life. It is always and always will be important to take time out of your day just to breathe. Stay Safe, and Stay Mindful.