My friend and I were sitting in my zen den (my house office) talking about mindfulness. We were talking about how mindfulness often is misunderstood or associated with something it is not.
I find myself researching more and more about this topic, and not just because I am writing a chapter on it for my book (more details on that coming soon!) but because I have been doing it my entire life. The trick though, is to be fully present in the moment and continually engage in daily mindfulness tasks, day after day.
Mindfulness is so simplistic in nature that I fear its simplicity is one of the reasons people may shy away from this beautiful and amazing technique.
Seriously, think about it?! What is it to be mindful? Take a moment. What do you see? What do you hear? How does your body feel ? In this exact moment in time. What are you doing? What is your environment? Is your to- do list a mile long with deadlines? Is your toddler unwrapping all the gifts you just wrapped? Are you about to bake all day long ? – all of the above is my current situation. This is mindfulness.
The more aware you are in the now, the more you are able to remain present. And what it means to remain present, is to not let your mind wander to the future or back to the past, but to be mindful in the moment and emotions of the now. Feel each experience in the moment with your entire being. Your sight. Your smell. Your touch. What you hear. What you taste – especially around the holidays!
Life is a wave of emotions. The tricky part is to find the balance between high and low tides.
When we become more aware of the now, it can help our bodies and minds develop mentally healthy techniques that promote emotional regularity when stress decides to peak in and say, “Hey hey, I am here to start that rollercoaster of emotions!”. Being mindful helps keep your body at an optimum level of arousal as so you can smoothly navigate your day, even when stressful situations occur.
When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed during this holiday season, take a step back. Take 5 minutes. Focus on the now. Focus on what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel.
Take a deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds, and let a “haa” sounding breath out as if you were emptying your lungs of all its air. When you take a breath in, take it in through your nose and feel the air on the back of your throat while drawing your belly button in towards your spine. It is amazing to me how much power our breath has. Please do not undervalue the power of your breath and how beneficial it can be to your mental health and body.
Embrace every emotion you feel. Own it. Allow your body to react to it. Do not get stuck in negative emotions. Rather, think of how you can move forward, in the now, on how to continue in that moment of time as positively as you can. I know, easier said than done. Start small. Keep an open mind. You can do anything for 10 seconds!
The more we practice mindfulness, the emotional shift felt between the high and low tides when stress occurs will shorten. The brain and body will begin to adjust to a mindful way to view life. Sending everyone good vibes, positive intentions, and a holiday season filled with mindfulness.
Looking for some last minute mindful holiday presents. Look below! No affiliation with any ,just really love these books. They will forever be in my personal library!