“Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Hello there! I hope everyone is having a lovely day so far. Today, I’m going to write a little bit about mindfulness, and how I use it in my everyday life to take control of anxiety and stress. I’ve written about mindfulness before, but in this post, I’m going to go into a little more detail about the methods I actually use in day-to-day moments, and how they help me when I’m feeling not quite right. They might seem a bit obvious, but I just wanted to share them anyway, just in case they spark up something you may not have thought of before!
Two minutes a day- mindful breathing.
Take two minutes out of a day just to be still. Lie down in a comfortable position on your bed, or anywhere that’s comfy for you. Close your eyes, and pay particular attention to your breathing. Let go of all your thoughts, and bring yourself completely to the present moment. If you find that your mind starts to wander, then that’s okay, completely normal, just keep bringing yourself back to the present. Relax your arms, hands, fingers, your legs, feet, and toes. Feel your belly fill up as you breathe in, and empty as you release, and breathe out. I like to breathe through my nose, paying particular attention to the feeling of the air touching the top of my lips as I breathe out. Stay like this for two minutes, or longer if you can, before bringing yourself back up. You’ll find that this will channel your emotions, and leave you feeling a lot more relaxed and focused. This mindful breathing is also often done during and at the beginning of yoga practice. (My favourite thing!)
When you’re on a walk, it can be really relaxing to focus on your breathing and your surroundings. Slow down your breathing, and really listen to the noises of the world. Listen to the singing of the birds, and the noises of the wind against the trees. Feel the wind blowing against your face, and your skin. Through your hair, and your clothes. If there are cars nearby, listen to them too. Listen to how they get louder as they approach, and quieter as they pass you and drift away. If you can hear voices in the distance, really hear that noise too. All while breathing slowly in, and out. Maybe brush your hand against some leaves, or the bark of a tree. This really brings you right into the present moment, and out of your own head. It brings you a new appreciation for your surrounding areas, and for life itself.
We all love food, don’t we? I’ve found that practising mindfulness has given me a whole new way to appreciate food. Most of the time, we hurry what we eat, (I know I do!), and then we end up feeling like it was over too quickly. Mindful eating is a way to slowly enjoy and appreciate eating the food. My example will be something small ,just a little slice of chocolate. Instead of just crunching and swallowing the chocolate, hold it on your tongue for a few seconds and let it melt a little. Swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds before you start chewing, just to spread the taste all around your mouth. That way, just one tiny little piece of chocolate has become a total taste explosion in your mouth! How brilliant. My favourite things to do this with are chocolate, and really, really buttery toast. Yummy!
Finally, listening to music mindfully.
Music is great for many things. This includes daydreaming. I daydream to music all the time! It’s totally fine to do this. However, when you’re feeling anxious, maybe your own head isn’t the best place to be. That’s where being mindful of the music helps. I find slow music works best for this technique, but it can be done to any kind of music,really. To do this, do everything I talked about in the first tip, mindful breathing, but on top of that, really listen to the music. Let the sound of it fill your ears. Listen to the instruments, the voices, how they all combine into one noise. Pay attention to how it makes you feel, and be mindful of that emotion. Whether positive or negative, it is just an emotion, and it does not have any control over you. You are in the present, listening to the beautiful music, and breathing peacefully.
So there we go! Four little ways I use mindfulness in everyday life to calm myself down and take back control. Feel free to try any of them and see if they help. Mindfulness isn’t every ones cup of tea, I know, but it has helped me get through some hard and stressful moments that occur in every day life. If you find that it is your cup of tea, yay! I hope it helps you, and there are millions of websites out there with coaching and even more techniques!
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