Mindful Monday’s!

Welcome back! I’m soooo glad you’re here!

Monday’s can sometimes be a pain, a drag if you will. The weekend is over and it’s back to the humdrum of our work lives, not matter what that work is. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a super fan of Monday’s. So I thought, why not give you all something to make your Monday a little better? Tad DAH – Mindful Monday’s.

I want to offer you guys lessons to help you practice this little something called Mindfulness. To start, I’m going to give you some background information.

What is Mindfulness?

Isn’t that like meditation? Do I have to sit and oam?? The answer is well, yes and no. You COULD use mindfulness as a meditation and yes there is a meditation component, but it’s not meditation in the traditional sense of the word.

What it IS; however, is paying attention to the exact moment you are in, right here, right now, on purpose AND without judging, evaluating, or being attached to this moment.

You’re not paying attention to the past, you’re not paying attention to the future. You’re paying attention to the moment. Nonjudmentally simply means if you have a thought, or a feeling, you are not judging yourself for having it. For example, if while you are practicing mindfulness you have the thought “I’m dumb” you simply acknowledge you had that thought and come back to the moment. Without attachment means you are not assigning emotion to your moment, that if you feel sad/happy/anxious whatever, you acknowledge it and bring it back to the moment.

Why Mindfulness?

At this point you might be asking yourself, why do it? What’s the point? How will this help me?

The good news is there are a BUNCH of reasons for practicing mindfulness. There’s a decent amount of research to suggest mindfulness helps with things like:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress reduction
  • increased focus
  • increased happiness
  • ability to be more flexible
  • helps to boost your immune system

take a look at this link to read further benefits
http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx

Ok so now that you know some of the benefits and a little more about what it is, I’m going to offer you a little intro to mindfulness!

Are you ready? Ok here we go….

You can do this practice with your eyes opened or closed. Whatever feels most comfortable to you.

Start by brining awareness to your breath. Just notice it without trying to change your breath. How does it feel? Can you feel the breath coming in through your nose? Down into your lungs? Where do you feel your breath the most?

Take the time to simply notice the next few breaths, answering these questions.

If your mind wonders, it’s ok. Each time you catch your mind wandering bring your attention back to your breath.

After a few breaths, start to deepen your breath. Four seconds in through your nose, one second pause, and four seconds out through your mouth.

Notice the difference in these breaths. Where can you feel the breath now? If it feels right to you, you can bring your hands to your abdomen to observe the coming in and out of your breath.

Take the time to notice a couple of these breaths and start to bring your attention to your body. How does your body feel? What do you notice about your body? Is there tension somewhere? Or an itch? If you do notice any stress, try to “breathe” into this tension.

Again, if you start to feel your attention slipping, just nudge yourself back to paying attention to the moment.  It’s perfectly natural and ok to find your attention waning in practice.

Notice your body for a couple more breaths and then bring your attention to what your body is touching. Are you sitting on a chair? Laying down? Can you feel your body touching whatever you are resting on? How does that feel? If you need to adjust to make yourself more comfortable, feel free to do so, letting youself rest even further.

Slowly, if your eyes are closed, start to open your eyes and return back to your daily life, completing your first mindfulness practice.

How’d that go?

Do you feel any more relaxed? More focused? Less stressed? Remember it doesn’t have to last for a long time, you can start with as little as 3 minutes at a time.

Let me know what you think in the comments and if you plan on doing a little mindfulness this next week!

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