According to Psychology Today: Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awaking to experience.
Wow! Doesn’t that sound pretty awesome? Let’s face it, most of us know that we are suppose to be mindful, to be present, but how many of us actually do that? So you decide you are going to sit down on your comfy couch and practice mindfulness. You take a few deep breathes and relax. You tell yourself to clear your mind. Success! You managed to clear your mind for about uh….2 seconds, then the thoughts started coming in. “We are out of milk, need to get some before I pick up the kids,” “oh I really need to get some gas in the car,” “did I remember to put the keys back in the cabinet?” Sheeeesssshhh…so much for being in the present moment. I know being present can be difficult so below are some useful tips I have put together on helping you stay present.
1. Count backwards from 10 to 1 and focus on the counting in your mind. If you are successful in doing this without random thoughts coming into your head while you do this exercise, that’s great! Then next time count from 15 to 1 and so forth. This practice teaches you to focus on one thing only without any distractions.
2. Every time you find your brain wandering, pinch your fingers. Your body is always in the present so by causing a physical sensation, it brings you back into the present.
3. Focus on your breathing. Remember I said your body is always in the present. So by your focusing on your breathing, you will stay present. Do deep breathes from your belly in and out through your nose. Inhale as deeply as you can from the belly up then exhale through the belly. While doing this breathe work, keep the pauses between the inhale and exhale to a minimum so you are doing more like a circular breathe.
4. Shoot out the intention of love to everything you see. If you are driving, shoot it to the cars around you, to the drivers in the cars, to the trees as you pass by them, to the traffic lights, to the pedestrians. By doing this you are focusing your intention in the now and the added bonus is you have sent all those around you the energy of love…literally you gave everything around you a big hug.
5. Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without grounding. Ground yourself however you know how and if not, read my blog on Drain and Fill – A Simple Grounding Technique. So send your random thoughts down your grounding and set the intention to stay with a quiet mind.
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