International Mindfulness Month
5 Simple Steps to more Mindful Living!
The first Live Your Now International Mindfulness Month of March (catchy, or what?) is an easy way to begin to include mindfulness in your daily life. You may be surprised at how easily you can! (HINT: It doesn’t require sitting down for an hour, you can do various exercises “on-the-go”!)
Here I am going to give you some very simple exercises that if you can commit to, just the rest of this month, can have long term profound effects on how you experience your world! You may well find this becoming your new way of living. That is most certainly my hope for you all.
Yes, it began a few days late due to technical issues, but hey – one applies mindfulness, and just picks it up as soon as one can 😉
I can teach a more spiritual based mindfulness practice, one I myself use, but in general the beauty of mindfulness is that you don’t NEED to. I teach a practical based mindfulness, easy ways to enjoy a more peaceful day – this doesn’t mean your day will be perfect, but it does mean you will cope with your stress and anxiety better with practice. I had chronic General Anxiety Disorder, OCD, depression I was all over the place!! I am by no means perfect, but I’d be a lot worse still without these practices!
So if a once hot tempered, reactive, anxious, OCD riddled, panic attack prone, struggling idiot like I was can do this… so can you!
Try practicing these for just a month! And if you want more one to one, you can visit my services page and get in touch 🙂 – otherwise, this will certainly keep you going!
Focus on your breathing
Sounds simple, and it is. Just notice the breath entering and leaving your body, notice how it feels in your nose, your mouth, and how your belly/upper chest etc move. Right now, for this practice, how you’re breathing is irrelevant, it’s simply noticing that you are – and how that feels, that is.
Let Thoughts Be
What? BUT HOW? Simple. Let them. You are very rarely choosing what you think, it’s habitual, automated programs running – so as they arise, notice them, and let them go! You can be non-reactive, and you also don’t have to believe them!
And yes, you can do this!
I will admit, having guidance helps with this. This is possibly one of the more difficult mindfulness aspects to both grasp, and practice, but it’s also one of those most valuable things you will learn in your life. Ever.
Mindfulness & Being Still
Not exactly what you expect in today’s society, but if there’s a moment you are free to be still or quiet, simply enjoy it – this is mindfulness. You can even apply focus to your breath in practice, and if your mind happens to wander off, just redirect your attention back to what you’re focusing peacefully on (could even be listening to bird song etc) – and accept, yes, that was a moment my focus went, it’s passed, nothing to be done there now except moving back into this moment.
For this you can practice simply listening, or observing something, and not judging it in any way. Attention in mindfulness, and judgment are two entirely different things. You can place your focused, aware, present attention on something – including listening to someone else speak – without judging it. In fact, this is a very useful way to begin having more empathy, over time you become more aware of the emotions someone else is feeling BEHIND the words spoken.
For example, they may speak angrily, but in fact are expressing PAIN – so they are not mindful in that moment, but because you are, you can have a profound effect on how you communicate or build connections with others. Including when they’re in, what we call in NLP, “un-resourceful states”. You are moving into a state of higher emotional intelligence.
I am sure you can imagine plenty of benefits for both yourself, and others, using this technique alone!
Focus on sensations
Finally in this article, focus on bodily sensations in daily activities. Be aware of taste of a cup of coffee, how often do you savour it? Notice the colour. The textures. If you’re walking, become aware of how walking feels. If you’re out in nature, pay attention to the warmth, or cold of the air – is there a breeze? Where do you feel it? Become attuned to what you’re doing.
Of course, the mind will kick in with “oh, it’s warm” etc – that’s fine, let those thoughts come and go – with practice this will start to happen naturally. What you’re interested in is FEELING the feelings within the body itself. It is an entirely different area of focus, and somehow can naturally calm thoughts down. (This is why we use this technique in hypnosis etc also).
I invite you to bring these simple techniques into your daily life, and make them new habits – there’s varying discussions on how long new habits take to wire in the brain, but it is a process. So why not begin the process, stay curious, and experiment with the application of the mindfulness techniques and see how much less stressed your life can become?
PLEASE LIKE/COMMENT & SHARE!
REMEMBER, you can get on board the #MindfulTrain, and speak to others, share experiences, and find new people interested in living a less stressed, more fulfilling mindfulness based life!
Of course, if you want you can work directly with me – one to one, in work environments, or in groups if you’d like where I can guide you into mindfulness & also bring my NLP skillset to actually working on the thoughts themselves if you’d wish! – Read more about that here.
To your best life, always