Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Simple Mindfulness Techniques for You to Practise

Mindfulness is the simple act of becoming more aware of the present moment.  Regularly practising this awareness of not just your mind and body, but also the world around you, can help to improve your overall mental well-being.
See my article “Mindfulness Explained and How it Can Help Improve Mental Well-being” for a more in-depth explanation of what mindfulness is and how it can help you.

Here are some simple ideas and mindfulness techniques for you to practise to get you started.  Once you’ve gotten used to practising these techniques, I’m sure you can come up with many more ideas of your own and ways to continue practising mindfulness to suit your own needs.

While practising these mindfulness techniques, remember that you are not trying to actively change or fix anything and you are not to judge yourself – the idea behind mindfulness is to allow yourself to see the present moment more clearly.

Mindfulness Techniques

·         Regularly remind yourself throughout the day to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and body sensations.
·         Notice how busy your mind is!  Don’t try to change anything and don’t judge yourself – simply observe.
·         Watch your thoughts come and go, floating by like a cloud in the sky being blown by the wind.
·         If you find yourself caught up in a thought, you may find it helpful to name the thought, e.g.  here’s  anxiety, or here’s a worry that I might fail a test.  The act of naming the thought, helps you to recognise it for what it is and not let it get a hold of you.
·         Some people find it helpful to set aside a formal practise session at a specific time of day when they will practise mindfulness.  For example, it could be first thing in the morning before you go to work, or on the bus or train to work, or in the evening – whatever is best for you.
·         Regularly remind yourself to take notice of the world around you.
·         Notice the food you eat, how it tastes, how it smells, the texture of it.
·         Notice your breathing – it doesn’t matter whether it’s fast or shallow, just focus your awareness on it.
·         Observe the way you walk, how you place your feet, how the rest of your body follows, how the air around you moves.
·         Observe the way you sit down, notice the sensations of your body touching the chair.
·         Observe the sky, watch the clouds, watch the birds or insects.
·         Try doing something different – it doesn’t have to be anything major, take a different route to work, go for a walk somewhere different, try out a new place to eat, sit in a different chair, sleep on the other side of the bed etc.  Notice how different it feels and the different sensations in the body in creates.  This can help you to see the world around you in a new light.
·         Observe the sensations throughout your body, starting with the feet and working your way up to the head.

For additional help, you might also like to take a look at the following CDs, DVDs or books on Mindfulness:

N.B.:  It’s advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns regarding your physical or mental health.  Alternative therapists seek to work in conjunction with the medical profession.  Always consult a registered/licensed alternative therapist before using any alternative therapy.

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