I first learned what Mindfulness was when I decided to attend a Mindfulness Meditation group in college for extra credit. Looking back, I can’t believe I made it that far without knowing what it means to be emotionally and physically present! I spent a lot of time in my head worrying about what happened or what would happen next. When really, I needed to slow down and exist in that moment.
It’s okay to think ahead and plan for the future. It’s also okay to look back and reflect on the past. This can be helpful and insightful…until it’s stressful and unproductive.
Mindfulness is the innate ability to be present in the moment with your mind, body, and the space around you. I like to relate Mindfulness to being in touch with the thoughts in your mind, the sensations in your body, and your senses. And incorporating Mindfulness into your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated! Here is a straightforward exercise that you can use anywhere, anytime. Try this:
What are your thoughts saying? Are you worried about what happened at work? Are you thinking about what that text message really meant? Are you looking forward to seeing a friend later? Help yourself notice the thoughts without judgment and be curious about them and what they could mean.
Do you feel tension in your body? What are your energy levels like? Are you tapping your leg? Are you clenching your jaw? This isn’t a sign to change anything, but instead, notice how your body is responding to the moment.
What color is the wall in front of you? Are you touching something? Is it hot, cold, soft, itchy? What do you hear? Is there music on? Do you hear traffic or birds chirping? Can you smell anything? Is there a candle burning, or are you wearing perfume? Have you had a drink of water lately? Is your coffee bitter or sweet? Is your drink hot or iced? What do you see around you?
Touch what is available to you. Listen to what you’re hearing. Smell something good. Taste something refreshing.
When we’re anxious or overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget about what is right in front of you. Taking the time to pause and be present with your thoughts and feelings can support self-regulation and grounding.
Mindfulness is already there for you; are you open to tapping in?
Practice Mindfulness for yourself through the meditative practice of creating Mandalas at Andrea’s upcoming Art Therapy workshop, on Thursday, November 2 at our Old City location! Sign up here.
Andrea specializes in anxiety and depression, Art Therapy, grief and loss, and trauma. To learn more about Andrea, read her bio here.
Looking for a therapist or unsure where to begin? Get started on our booking page, here.