Do you ever:
- find yourself running from one thing to another, feeling rushed, stressed and worried?
- feel you need some time and space to relax and take stock and put things into perspective?
- find that some things trigger feelings of anxiety and not being in control?
That’s where mindfulness comes in.
What Is Mindfulness Anyway?
Mindfulness is a toolkit that helps you understand, tolerate and develop awareness of your emotions and the ‘automatic’ responses you often use. Mindfulness then helps you alter your habitual responses. It trains your brain to pay attention to the present moment and all the little things that are occurring around you. In this way, you can take pauses from your busy life and learn to take more control over your emotions and your emotional triggers.
How Does Mindfulness EMPOWER Me?
Using Mindfulness principles through meditation and short exercises can shift your thoughts away from your usual worries. They can give you an appreciation of the moment and give you a larger perspective on life.
By implementing mindful practice you can bring improvements to your physical and psychological symptoms and create positive changes in health, attitude and behaviour.
What BENEFITS Can Mindful Practice Bring Me?
- Mindfulness can improve your well-being. It allows you to become more engaged in activities. It gives you a greater capacity to deal with adversity. It helps you to be less concerned about self-esteem and develop deeper personal connections with others.
- It can improve your physical health by lowering blood pressure and improving sleep habits. It can relieve stress, alleviate gastrointestinal issues, reduce chronic pain and even treat heart disease.
- Mindfulness can improve your mental health and be an element in treating psychological issues. These issues may include depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship conflict, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation in which you pay attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment.
Where Do I Start?
There are many TECHNIQUES to practice mindfulness. Here is a simple breath mindfulness that you could start with.
- Breath mindfulness meditation
Sit quietly and focus on your breathing or perhaps on a positive word, or mantra (such as ‘happiness’, ‘calm’ or ‘relax’), that you repeat silently. Allow any thoughts you have to come and go without judgement and return to your focus on breathing or mantra. Try to do this each day for five minutes.
My Mindful Mondays group starts on Monday 18 February at the SWell Centre in Hawthorn, Melbourne. Find me on MeetUp at https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/Mindfulness-with-Kate/. More from this blog next week!