What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness seems to be a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what exactly is it? Mindfulness simply put is focusing our awareness in the present moment, which includes our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment. Mindfulness is about connecting to the here and now. It is about noticing without judging. Mindfulness allows us to come to a place of acceptance within our mind and body.
How do you practice mindfulness?
There are many tools and exercises that can be learned to further develop ones’ mindfulness. Meditation, guided imagery, grounding, and breathing exercises are all examples of how to bring awareness to the moment by moment experience.
What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
The mind and body are connected, in that what impacts the mind impacts the body and vice-versa. Mindfulness enables the mind and body to come to a state of relaxation and release. Mindfulness also enables us to be more intentional in our choices and actions, connecting us to the moment and making an active decision, rather than an impulsive one. Mindfulness can assist us in creating better relationships, providing us with the time to check in with our mind/body, before reacting out of emotion.
Mindfulness enables us to be active agents in our lives instead of passively moving through. We experience the world around us, connected to our senses and present in the moment. So much of our lives are spent in the future or the past, but mindfulness enables us to just be. Mindfulness also creates greater understanding of our thoughts and feelings, as we are able to observe these and label them, rather than allowing them to control our reactions. We in a sense remove the power and hold our thoughts and feelings have over us by detaching ourselves from the emotional reaction by becoming curious observers instead.
Grounding exercises are a great way to bring us back to the present moment by connecting us to our senses. One grounding exercise that I love to use, utilizes the 5 senses. This is a great exercise, because it can be broken apart into any given tool you need in that moment. This exercise begins with a gentle breathing practice to relax and release before connecting to each of your 5 senses(touch, hearing, smell, taste, sight). When you connect to each of these senses it enables you to reconnect to the here and now and be intentional in this process. This is a great exercise to use anytime during the day when you are feeling disconnected or in need of rejuvination. (Youtube video coming soon)
If you are ready to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, reduce stress and live in the present moment, contact me today to schedule your first session.