What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the state of being active and open to the present moment. You can practice mindfulness anywhere, during any activity. While it is helpful to practice mindfulness meditation, you do not need to meditate to practice mindfulness.
How to practice mindfulness?
Start with the breath. Take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale out through the mouth. Bring your attention to what you are doing. This can include meditating, walking, eating, parenting, practicing yoga, etc. Bring your awareness fully into what you are doing. Become curious, not judgmental. Our tendency as humans is to label things, “good” or “bad”. That pose is challenging, this orange tastes sour, this person is really loud, I have an itch and all the other thoughts and feelings that pass through our awareness. Notice the thoughts and sensations as a casual observer.
Spend five to ten minutes in this mindful practice. If you become distracted, acknowledge it. Then come back to your practice and/or breath. It maybe even helpful to label, "distracted" or "thinking". Some people also find it helpful during a mindful meditation practice to visual letting go the distraction.
What are the benefits?
Research has found that practicing mindfulness may help to rewire the brain and is linked with positive brain changes. It is important to note that mindfulness is a practice. Like an exercise, the more you do it, the stronger you become. Some benefits include:
- Stress reduction
- Lower levels of anxiety
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Increases awareness and brain function
- Increase quality of sleep
I have been meditation practitioner since 2010. It has been a transformational part of my personal journey. As a young adult, I struggled with anxiety and depression. I lacked boundaries and did not understand myself nor knew how to take care of myself. Meditation, mindfulness and yoga have been my anchor during all my life transitions. It has been a exceptionally useful tool becoming a parent. If you would like to attend one of my group classes or work with me one-on-one, I would love to help you develop your own mindfulness practice.