Being mindful of your surroundings and what your body is trying to tell you can be a valuable skill when you’re feeling anxious, alert or stuck in life. Todays blog looks at the practice of mindfulness and how it can help
Let us help you to lead a more mindful life.
To be mindful is to be aware and understanding of your environment without inferring judgement of what is good or bad. Simply, it is the exercise of recognising what is happening in and around us and seeing it for its true value. A feeling of anxiousness may present in stomach pains or an increased heart rate, but with the right mindfulness technique, it is simply our body warning us of potential danger, alerting us to unfavourable stimulus. With mindfulness, we would thank our body for sending us these important signals as they are imperative to our safety. However we may experience a false alarm where these signals are not truly necessary. So what do we do when our body has sent us a signal of potential threat and we are unable to recognise that threat?
With mindfulness, we would acknowledge the presence of this feeling and take 3 slow, deep breaths. Counting to 4 on the inhale and 6 on the exhale while picturing our breath encasing the location where we feel anxious. By attending to the feeling within ourselves, we are able to truly understand what our body is trying to tell us. We may realise that this false alarm is a learnt behaviour and as a result, we can unlearn our false alarm response to certain aspects of our lives. This is called “sitting in your emotions” and the result is learning more about your body and the signals it sends to you.
How can mindfulness help me?
Mindfulness can be used in many ways. As seen above, it can be used to learn more about our bodies natural warning signals. We can use mindfulness to improve our quality of sleep, to ease a restless mind and motivate us to complete undesirable tasks. It can also be used to appreciate the more monotonous aspects of our life like our commute to work, or walking to and from the office. Take a minute to practice the breathing exercise moments before starting your commute or walk. Once you commence your commute or walk, open your eyes and imagine that you are seeing this environment for the first time. Like you are a researcher trying to understand every aspect of the environment around you. You may notice a particular plan that you had never seen before, you may feel the ground beneath your feet is softer than you thought and you may hear sounds that were otherwise white noise but are key to understanding the environment. By practicing this daily, your monotonous commute transforms into an adventure filled with new and exciting stimulus.
How do I practice beinf mindful?
There are many ways that we can practice to be mindful. Some people take a moment each day to write down 3 things that they are grateful for or speaking aloud things they may take for granted. A simple task that can be practiced each day is to take 3 long breaths before approaching a task, acknowledging the feeling of a false alarm or walking to the office. If you take the time to approach each aspect of your life as if it were the first time, you will be resetting your perception and awareness. Inevitable resulting in fresh eyes when approaching the otherwise monotonous aspects of everyday life. We recommend downloading the Smiling Mind app on your device and choosing one of the aspects of life you would like to focus on.
If you are interested in discussing any of the points further, we would be more than happy to hear from you. Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer any questions you may have.