Today, we’d want to talk about some easy, everyday methods to incorporate mindfulness into your life, so you can monitor your stress levels and take care of your mind and body while you adapt to this new phase.
If you’re having trouble dealing with intense feelings and finding some peace of mind at a trying period, try these top mindfulness exercises.
Focusing on the present now can help you interrupt the never-ending parade of thoughts, worries, and fears that we tend to feel when going through tough times, which is one reason why mindfulness practice has such profound effects on our well-being.
Constant mental activity can have an impact on how we feel, making it hard to focus, tire quickly, and trouble falling asleep.
You can practice being in the present now by becoming aware of times when you are mindlessly going through the motions of your day without giving any thought to what you’re doing and then gently returning your attention back to the activity at hand.
In times of high tension, it might be difficult to maintain awareness of the immediate surroundings. Our thoughts always wander to the gloomy possibilities of the future.
Relax your thoughts and your nerves by engaging all five of your senses: sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness: describing what you see, listening to and appreciating the various noises and smells around you, or savoring each bite of food as you eat them are just a few examples. This technique can be used whenever you need a moment of calm during the day.
Keep at it, and maintaining composure will become second nature.
To be “mindful” is to accept whatever emotions arise without labeling them “evil” or reflexively trying to flee, deny, or repress them. Emotions like grief, fear, rage, and disappointment can either take over or pass on their own, depending on how we react to them.
It’s okay to feel whatever emotion you’re feeling at any given moment, and those feelings will eventually fade. What we do while we’re feeling a specific way is what makes those feelings persist or go.
For guidance on how to “ride out” difficult emotions without succumbing to them, read on to the next section.
One of the most effective ways to control your emotions is by paying attention to your breathing.
Physical sensations like tightness, tingling, knots, or even pain are frequently triggered by intense emotions. Understanding how to recognize the onset of such feelings and then using your breath to calm and relax tense areas can do wonders for your state of mind.
When you’re under a lot of pressure, take a moment to identify the areas of your body where you’re holding tension (maybe your shoulders and neck), then focus your attention there as you exhale, relaxing those muscles.
Alternatively, you may try placing your hands there and focusing on the sensation of touch.
Last but not least, a central tenet of mindfulness is self-compassion, or the acceptance that it’s OK to feel uncomfortable emotions such as sadness or anger without condemning or trying to change them.
To go through a bad patch in a healthy way, it’s important to let things happen as they may, to try your best to live in the present and to take things one step at a time.
It’s not about doing nothing and hoping things will get better; rather, it’s about prioritizing your own emotional and mental well-being as you confront and overcomes the obstacles standing in your way.
Check out our online mindfulness-based courses if you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness and how practicing basic daily practices can help you maintain your well-being.
While it’s counterproductive to ignore or hide problems, it’s likely that every one of us is also experiencing many positive experiences.
The first step in creating lasting optimism is to focus on and appreciate the positive things in one’s life. Pray, meditate, or keep a gratitude diary to focus on being thankful for something in your life right now.
According to psychologist and mindfulness teacher Dr. Shauna Shapiro, “What you practice gets stronger,” so cultivate optimism by being grateful.
When we feel threatened, the limbic system kicks in and we either prepare to fight or run away to safety.
Everything around us is a potential danger, and we have a strong negative bias in our perception of the world when we are in this state. Keep your limbic state from becoming a defining characteristic.
Do what you can to show sympathy, consideration, and sympathy. Check out one of our guided meditations on compassion and kindness.