22 Mar Soothe Stress 2: Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to focus and be present to your thoughts and feelings (even the way your body feels) without any judgment and regardless of what you’re doing. You do this for a specific period of time of your choosing. Yep. That’s it. That’s what all the fuss is about. The point is to slow down, calm down, focus and appreciate the moment, so life doesn’t just fly by without awareness.
Why bother? Well, as you run through life, trying to meet people’s expectations, trying to do well in school, hoping to be your best, to be popular or to be athletic, life can become stressful. Oh, and then there are the 342 snap chats to check out, and 76 text messages you got today before lunch and the 45 other social media responsibilities you want and choose to do. Plus, you have all your responsibilities at home. That’s all totally normal. But take a step back and deep breathe and ask yourself: What happened to my time? Believe it or not, being constantly on the go can be stressful, without even having a stressful event happen.
Try a mindfulness exercise and see how you feel after. The point is for you to feel more present, more available to your self, your friends and your family, and not to feel so distracted. If you ever have tried to have a conversation with someone who is clearly thinking of other things while you are talking then you know it doesn’t feel good. So make sure you are not doing that to someone else!
1Chew 25 times before swallowing. Focus on the movement of your mouth, the taste of the food, the texture. Close your eyes if you want to. Slow down and enjoy your food.
2Arrange 3-5 things that have different odors. Close your eyes and place each item next to your face. Inhale. Imagine where the smell came from, the memories you have from it, how you feel when you smell it.
3Breathe. Simply focus on the rise and fall of your belly. How does air come in and out? Where is it traveling? How can you breathe through your eyes or with your back? Play with your breath.
The point of these exercises is to get you to stay within the moment and to focus on nothing else. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the present moment. With practice, you may feel a greater sense of peace and gratitude.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness, please visit the Mindfulness post here. The benefits are so immense we felt like we needed to give it some more press!
Do you ever feel like you are not “present” in the moment? What do you do to bring your self back?