Mindfulness involves purposefully engaging in techniques that help you focus on being in the moment without judgement while calmly accepting one’s feelings both physically and emotionally. This can range from meditative breathing, visualization, to thinking practices, and physical movements. There are many options, and no real “right” or “wrong” choices to how you engage in your own mindfulness.
Mindfulness is helping people in a variety of ways – including physical, emotional, and spiritual. It can also help in the journey of grief. In some ways, being present in the moment can offer people a break from the stress and trauma that comes from constantly worrying about what has happened, what will happen, what might happen . . . etc.
Here are some very basic beginning things a person can do to dip their toe into the pool of practicing mindfulness. Whether it resonates with you and becomes something you decide to explore further, or it gives you a moment to clear your mind before you continue your journey, we have included some simple practices of mindfulness for your to try:
- Simply be aware of your breath. Notice it going in and out. Notice how long or slow or fast it is – no judgements. Just notice for a few breaths. Then go about your day.
- Go for a walk – no matter how long or short, no matter what the weather is like. Go outside and walk. While you do, notice colors, sounds, and the feel of the weather around you.
- When stress is rising, see if you can help yourself by taking a slow, deep breath. Then hold for a second, and mentally tell yourself “stop.” You can raise a hand in your mind, or even in reality if it helps. Then release the breath.
- Observe our own thoughts. Try to find some time where you can sit however is comfortable to you, turn off all your devices, and breath casually. Thoughts will naturally crawl across your brain. Take a look at them and let them go on their way. Focus on your breathing to help you along. See if you can do this a couple times a week to start.
Interested in taking the next step to exploring mindfulness further? Check out the links below to some resources: