By Kerrie Sullivan, founder of Infinite Wellness
Mindfulness seems to be what everyone wants to achieve. The thing is – we need to slow down to get it. But how do we do that in a society that craves instant gratification? Most of us are juggling relationships, kids, jobs, maybe a side business or two, hobbies, exercise and eating healthy. The belief is that fitting this mindfulness into every step may keep you from missing one moment or ounce of joy that life has to offer, even in the midst of our crazy everyday lives.
So what is Mindfulness? It means to be full of awareness with everything we do. It means to be conscious or present in all your activities. It means to take yourself off autopilot and live in the moment, rather than on default mode, a section of the brain that causes your mind to wander. Breathing, walking, talking, the way our hair rests on our shoulders, the way the water feels on our skin – basically taking the time to be in the moment. Everything we do in life we can do mindfully for the purpose of achieving peace at every step.
As an energy practitioner, licensed massage therapist and owner of my own business, I find that mindfulness is imperative in every moment of my life. I am extremely sensitive to energy so staying mindful creates boundaries and keeps me grounded inside my body.
So what are some ways we can incorporate mindfulness into our everyday lives?
Set the intention
The brain follows the direction of conscious thought. If we set the intention (by commanding the brain to do something), the brain in going to follow. We can give ourselves direction by setting the intention to be mindful. For example, as I am sitting here writing this blog, I set the intention to be mindful. I may hear the bouncing of the balls outside and all the noise happening around me and smell smells in the air, but my attention is focused on my next word and the way the iPad feels on my fingertips.
Starting the day off with meditation trains your brain and allows you to bring a light and airy feeling with you through the day so you can more easily fall into mindfulness. Studies show that meditation helps relieve anxiety and depression, improves attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being. the brain does not have direction, it will look for a problem. The brain was created for solving problems. Meditating even 3 minutes in the morning will help to quiet your mind, improve your quality of life and well-being as well as allow you to get a better night’s rest.
The moment we took our first breath as we entered the world, we said yes to life and we were also given this gift that can be used at any moment. There are many breath techniques we can use to enhance the mindfulness practice. One of my favorites is by Thich Nhat Hahn. As you are breathing in you can say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.” And as you are breathing out, you can say, “Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”
Mindfulness walking is a really great tool to use. As we walk and take every step we can be aware of our feet touching the ground. This will require you to slow down and as you do, you can take notice of all the beauty and nature and miracles that surround you.
Coming Into The Present By Being Grounded In Your Body
I do this by being mindful of my hands and feeling the energy in my hands. Just by doing this, I can take the energy away from any other focus and bring my energy inside my body. As I am becoming more grounded in my body it allows me to be much more likely to stay mindful. Another way you can ground yourself after mindfulness practice is to splash some water on your face and take note of how the washcloth feels as you dry your face. Or as you sip some cold water, place the cool glass on your face and take note of how that feels.
Staying mindful helps us connect to our higher self and offer our best self to those around us. Adding mindfulness practice to the ways you use to care for yourself will only serve to enhance your life.