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😌 Mindfulness

🪹 Mindfulness.. 🌷

❤️ This is one of my favourite topics!! I must admit that I actually find it slightly strange that it is called ‘Mindfulness’ as it is really the opposite to what its name suggests?! 🙂 More like ‘MindEmptyness’!

~ Being mindful means non-judgemental awareness. A direct knowing of what is going on inside + outside ourselves, moment by moment ~

I know this can be hard for us to practice with our busy day-to-day lives.. so here I will try to give you some tips to be able to go into the moment more easily. Hopefully you can incorporate + put these into action whether you are at work, home, completing tasks + chores, waiting, or anywhere, anytime! 🪷

📗 I have a neat little book that’s literally called “The Little Book of Mindfulness” ~ by Teddy Rowan that has some activities which are easy to follow + I’ve found work really well! Here are some ideas they shared to help you appreciate the moment more.. therefore benefiting your Mind, Body, Spirit + Soul all at once

 + Don’t forget ~ Practice ‘really does’ makes Perfect!

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Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

🧡 Try bringing mindfulness into routine aspects of your daily life

  • When waking up in the morning
  • When brushing your teeth
  • When taking a shower
  • When drying your body
  • When getting dressed
  • When shopping
  • When making a hot drink
  • When travelling to work or to play

🚶 Walk Mindfully

Think back to all of the places that you walked yesterday

Perhaps to the car, to the bus stop, even from one room to another or up + down the stairs. In how many of those walks were you actually aware of the walking? And how many were done on autopilot?

Any walking activity is an opportunity to be mindful of the steps that you’re taking + to disengage from internal chattering

🦶 Mindfully Moving…

As well as going for a walk with the sole purpose of switching off your chattering thoughts, there is another type of mindful walk that brings some calm into the day

Instead of thumping around your daily activities with heavy feet + banging cupboards, draws + doors, try doing it all more gently, starting with the feet. Being ‘light of fat’ is a physical way of ‘walking lighter’ + transmits positivity throughout the body (it also improves posture)

Being light on your feet makes you ‘fleet-footed’ + therefore nimbler + faster

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"I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking" ~ Albert Einstein

💛 Mindfulness cannot happen in the future, but only in the here + now

It is found in the ordinary, the obvious, the mundane + the exotic

…All it means is bringing your attention + awareness to everything + everyone around you…

Reading this now – Even as your mind starts wandering off to its next command, you can bring it back to the now by taking a BREATH + paying attention to it ~ unhurriedly ~ just as it is. And take another breath just for good measure. As you are doing that, your mind does not ruminate but allows you to concentrate on the task in hand therefore…

As you increase your practice of mindfulness, you will find that you gradually stop labelling events + thoughts under emotional headings such as ‘negative’, ‘irritating’ + ‘boring’. You will develop a way of observing them + moving on!

🧘‍♀️Here are some breathing techniques

  • 4-7-8 Breathing ~ Slowly breathe in to the count of four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds. Then, slowly exhale for eight
  • Balloon Breathing ~ Imagine your belly is a balloon. Slowly breathe in and feel your belly expand. Then, slowly breathe out

These breathing teqnuiques can be done at anytime!

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"The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing" ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

💚 Get Amongst Nature

Walking is one of the finest forms of exercise, a proven stress reliever + mood booster + can be made doubly valuable by using it as a mindful exercise to be aware of everything around you ~ sights, sounds, colours + the weather

When your thoughts stray to concern + worries, just guide your mind back to the exercise of being aware of your surroundings as you walk

☔️ ~ ☀️ ~ 🍃 ~ ☃️

Don’t wait to see what the weather is like or what time of day it is ~ a walk at night or in the wind or rain can be every bit as stimulating, sometimes more so, than a walk in the sunshine!

🪴 Cultivating a Plant

Whether you’re a landscape gardener or a by-a-pot-of-herbs from the supermarket kind of gardener, buy a plant to cultivate specifically for mindfulness

Tend to it every day, make sure it is in the correct conditions, water it when necessary, turn it towards the light, keep its leaves clean + generally be attentive towards it

This is your Mindful Plant + will remind you every time you look at it to be aware of living in the present moment. Tending the plans means not thinking about something else

The Power of Now is a neat read by Eckhart Tolle

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"Be there as the witness of your mind" ~ Eckhart Tolle

💙 Mindfully Idling

When you’re standing in a queue, sitting in traffic, waiting for a colleague, a friend or a delayed bus or train to arrive ~ use the time to be present without impatience

Practice being still + enjoying the opportunity to slow down your body + mind

🪣 Minding Housework

One of the many advantages of practicing mindfulness is that it helps with the housework!

Whilst vacuuming, making beds, cleaning the house, doing dishes + the laundry etc, take the opportunity to switch off the brain + be attentive to what you’re doing ~ It’s amazing how it turns a drudge into a pleasure 

🍊 Eating With Awareness

Take a piece of fruit that you can peel, for example an orange

Whilst you peel the piece of fruit reflect on what brilliant packaging nature uses + be aware of all the processes that made this possible for you to eat ~ the seed, the earth, the weather, the crop pickers etc, all the way into your hands 

Eat it slowly, knowing that it is adding to the cycle of its life by improving yours

Be reminded of all the cycles that we in turn are part of to safeguard our environment + keep our own footprints free from pollution

👣 ~ 👣 ~ 👣

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"What lies behind us + what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

💜 Mindfulness helps you…

  • To become familiar with the workings of your mind
  • To put you in touch with a different way of knowing yourself + the world
  • To notice small beauties + pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head
  • To be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals
  • To accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time
  • Reduces stress + any anxieties we may have in relation to the future

❤️ ~ 🧡 ~ 💛 ~ 💚 ~ 💙 ~ 💜 ~ 🤍

🧐 Thoughts are not facts….

Thoughts are like clouds passing – you are the sky.. so just watch them come + go!!

~ We all seem to be like dogs with bones  + think we need to chase each thought ~ but we DO NOT have to!! ~

When I started my mindfulness journey, I used to send any stray, unwanted or over-active thoughts ‘to the back of the bus’ 🚍 There are many more analogies but this one seemed to work well for me

By concentrating on the moment we’re in, the worries of the past + the anxieties of the future dissipate

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"People are scared to empty their minds fearing that they will be engulfed by the void. What they don't realise is that their own mind is the void" ~ Huang-Po

📝 Final Note..

🕊 Reasons to be Mindful

  • People who are more mindful have greater awareness, understanding + acceptance of their emotions, + recover from bad moods more quickly
  • Mindfulness is correlated with emotional intelligence, which itself has been associated with good social skills, ability to cooperate + the ability to see another person’s perspective
  • People who are more mindful have higher, more stable self-esteem that is less dependent on external factors
  • When you are mindful, you become a relaxed witness to your inner life, + you are freed from being constantly affected by all your mental activity + by all your judgements about the world + everything that’s taking place within it

Observation‘ is the key word here. You consciously observe your thoughts + feelings, rather than allowing yourself to swim around in them. The moment you become aware + conscious in this way, you are living in the moment, + not on autopilot! 

At first this feels like you are creating a sense of space within yourself. With time + practice it opens up a whole new dimension of freedom, relaxation + stillness

~ Instead of juggling thoughts, deal with each one before tackling another + keep your mind free + ready to accept any new thoughts ~

Remember the advice “TAKE A DEEP BREATH”? It remains one of the most instant mood changers + calming exercises. It’s FREE, it’s instantly available, + it get oxygen to your brain 😮‍💨

🖤 “If we can just let go + trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings, becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself” ~ Goldie Hawn