How Mindful Are You?

February 15, 2022

Mindfulness is a type of meditation or lifestyle technique where you focus on awareness, senses and what you are feeling without judgment. Mindfulness can come in many different forms including but not limited to:
Breathing
Meditation
● Intentional thoughts/movement
● Guided imagery

Research shows that mindfulness can help decrease symptoms of:
● Anxiety
● Depression
● Stress
● Anger
● High blood pressure
● Insomnia
● Pain
Asthma

Daily practice of meditation and mindfulness have shown to reduce stress and anxiety overall, and better relationships. Try working these 5-minute mindfulness exercises into your day.

Live in the moment
Slow down and notice what is going on in your surroundings. Take a moment to hear the noises, feel your breathing as it fills the lungs, notice everything for a moment. Appreciate all that is going on and even smile at everyone living in their own little world.
Bring attention to every movement or action you do. Acknowledge everything and appreciate what is happening around you. Stop planning, stressing, or worrying for the time and just enjoy what is happening now.
Focus on breathing
When something out of your control happens, bring your attention to your breath, this will immediately bring you out of fight or flight and back to you. Close your eyes if this helps and continue focusing on the breath and how your body feels.

Attention to breath
● Begin sitting upright in a chair with feet planted on the floor and hands in the lap with your palms facing up
● Close the eyes and take a big breath in, holding at the top and releasing slowly
● Repeat this breathing three times then continue paying attention to the breath and the heart rate
● Breathe into your body until you feel centered and calm
● Open your eyes

Body scan
● Begin sitting upright in a chair or laying on your back
● Close your eyes and begin with three slow and steady breaths into the nose and out the mouth
● Find rhythm of breathing into nose out nose and relax into your position
● Begin at the head and bring attention to every body part from the head to the toe
● Take a breath in to come out and open the eyes

Light heart meditation
● Begin laying down or sitting upright
● Close the eyes and begin with 3 breaths
● Fall into rhythm of breathing paying attention to breath and how your body feels
● Imagine a small light in the middle of the heart that lightens when breathing in and dims when exhaling
● Allow this light to expand and grow to fill up the body
● Allow the light to shine out of the body and fill the room
● Feel the warmth and happiness of this light
● Bring the light back to the heart
● Breath in to come back, open your eyes

Movement
Yoga is a strength building exercise that can improve endurance, reduce stress, and even become a meditation practice. Yoga is any form of movement developed with poses and attention to breathing. Some easy poses to do when you need a break in the day are in the image below.

animated humans doing yoga

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