Mindfulness has all sorts of benefits, including decreased stress and anxiety and increased attention and focus and feelings of connectedness. This month we focused on the skills of mindfulness – the WHAT skills of observe, describe, and participate, and the HOW skills of one-mindfully, nonjudgmentally, and effectively. We also covered the middle path of Wise Mind, the synthesis of emotion mind and rational mind.
We’ve covered all the skills, but now what? How do we practice and increase our mindfulness?
- Deep breathing. Taking deep breathes when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or even worried about something can slow down your heart rate and bring you back to the present. You can use several mindfulness skills during deep breathing, such as observing your breathing and nonjudgmentally checking in with yourself.
- Writing. Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts or even plan out your day can increase your mindfulness. Focusing on this one task, one-mindfully, can re-center your attention. Try writing down and describing one thing you are grateful for – this can help you break away from negative thoughts and increase positive feelings!
- Meditation. Meditations can be as short as 2-5 minutes. Apps like Insight Timer are free and have hundreds of meditations with a variety of themes. Sometimes you need to pause and collect your thoughts. Meditation is a great way to access wise mind if you are feeling strong emotions.
Finally, SPU offers free mindfulness yoga classes on Mondays from 7pm – 8:15pm at the First Free United Methodist Church!