What the f*ck is "Mindfulness" anyway?!?
Buzzword alert! Especially since the pandemic has started, I’ve noticed this word pop up a lot when it comes to just about everything:
- Mindful Movement
- Mindful Eating
- Mindful Spending
- Mindful Screen Time
- Mindful Self Care
But, what does it actually mean to be “Mindful?”
The definition of mindfulness is the quality or state of being mindful, the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis (Definition by Merriam-Webster).
While the practice and study of mindfulness has been around for a long time and is linked to Buddhist practiced, Jon Kabat-Zinn brought the practice to the Western world.
Mindful based practices is known to reduce anxiety and stress as well as regulate emotions, cultivate better concentration and focus, improve sleep quality, and practice self-compassion.
It’s no wonder this has become such a huge buzzword. Mindfulness can truly unlock not only a state of flow, but your potential for success. Think about it… less screaming at your kids, better relationship with your spouse or ex, less breakdowns at work, the ability to sleep more, and less mood swings. I’m a huge YES for that!
To start to bring more mindfulness into your life in a tactile way, there are 7 foundational elements to focus on to use mindfulness to reduce anxiety:
- Non-judgmental awareness. I like to think of this like putting your brain/problem/object on the table in front of you and looking at it. There are no good or bad/ right or wrong/ yes or no’s. What is it?
- Patience: Giving yourself space and time.
- The Beginner’s Mind: Be willing to fail, be willing to learn something new, and be willing to look at it whatever it is, like it’s the first time.
- Trust: This is about trusting yourself that you made the right decision.
- Non-Striving: The attitude of simply to be without having to get anywhere.
- Acceptance: This is not about settling or “taking it” but seeing things how they really are.
- Letting go: Releasing control and allowing yourself to full experience things.
So, let’s put it all into a daily practice……
Here are 5 ways to put Mindfulness to practice:
- TAKE A YOGA CLASS AT YESYOGA! (Duh, first one!)
- Focused breathing practices. A great one is counting to 4 on your inhale and exhaling to the count of 6.
- Body Scan. You can sit or lay down, and use awareness to bring to focus different areas of the body ( I like to start at the feet or whatever is on the ground) and use your mind to relax any areas that are tense.
- The Five Senses: Notice what you can see, hear, feel, smell, taste
- Setting an intention for your day! This can be a word, phrase, or mantra that can help set the tone for your day. That way when you practice acceptance and letting go, you can check back in with your intention to help guide you back on your path!