The holiday season is a time of celebration and togetherness, unfortunately it is also one of the most stressful. This is what prompted us to do a series of posts on self-care. Mindfulness is about living in the now, moving past the thoughts and deeds done in the past or stressing about the future. The only real moment is the now. The past is gone, the future hasn’t occurred. Each moment of life is a gift, choose joy, choose to see the good and choose to be present. Here is this week’s post.
You’ve probably heard of the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness reduces stress, increases concentration, lowers blood pressure, and brings a wealth of other benefits, but what is it, and how do you do it?
What Is Mindfulness?
The concept is simple. Mindfulness is about being calmly aware of what is happening around you, right now, in a compassionate, non-judgmental way. You would think this would be easy. If you are standing on a beach watching a stunning sunset, all you need to do, is enjoy the beauty of that sunset. If you are holding hands with a loved one, you simply treasure that moment you have.
But so many times in life we get wrapped up in other things. We waste countless hours obsessing about a fight a month ago. That fight is in the past. It can’t be changed. It can’t be altered in any way, but we spend all our current time thinking about it.
Similarly, people waste months and months obsessing about some completely remote future event ,an event that eventually never happened. Imagine how much they missed. If only they had been present and enjoying their now.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t learn from the past or prepare for the future. You want to save up to pay your rent bills. The point is to be balanced in how you approach things. If you completely miss out on months of your life because you’re obsessed about a future event that never happens, that time can never be recovered. Life is too short,not to appreciate each moment.
How Do You Practice Mindfulness?
A key to mindfulness is to be compassionate with yourself. We are all only human. We all fall into patterns that can be hard to break.
Take in a deep breath. Fill your upper chest, mid-chest, and abdomen. Let it fill out. Then breathe out, out, releasing all the air.
Be present for this moment. If there is someone near you, fully engage with them. Avoid thinking about what you’re going to say in response or what you’re going to do later tonight. Be there for them. Listen. Participate.
Experience the moment you’re in. If you’re feeling emotions, think about those emotions. Avoid judging them. Are you angry about something? Sad about something? Acknowledge your feelings and then think about a path forward. Shake loose from your usual automatic response. Stop them in their tracks, silence negative self talk and choose to be in the moment. It's only in this moment that you can truly take any action.
Until next time,
Lisa Shea in collaboration with Shelly W.
Want to know more?
Vibrate higher by Lalah Delia