3 years ago · Leah Fogt · Comments Off on Take 5 This Halloween!
Take 5 this Halloween!
In today’s fast paced busy world, stress, anxiety, and depression abound. It can be scary how quickly distress can consume us. One of the ways I encourage my clients to manage distress is through practicing Mindfulness on a daily basis.
Mindfulness is an approach to daily life in which a person practices awareness of the present moment, as it happens, right here and right now, acknowledging the present with curiosity, acceptance, and an open mind. Mindfulness can benefit us in many ways. By helping us acknowledge the transience and changeability of our circumstances, mindfulness allows us to embrace the impermanence of our stressors. Mindfulness also helps us to have a present-moment experience by staying in the now and avoiding living life on autopilot. It helps us to tolerate discomfort rather than avoiding or escaping. Mindfulness helps us to remain open to new ideas, exercise our creativity, and maintain an attitude of nonjudgment. It helps us to know ourselves – body, mind, and spirit – on a deeper level. Mindfulness has also been found to improve brain function and structure by supporting neuroplasticity and improved memory.
Here are some simple ways to integrate mindfulness into your daily life:
1. Self-observe during activities of daily life (e.g. mindful eating, walking, breathing, brushing teeth, etc.) paying attention to the sensations in the body.
2. Spend one minute practicing deep breathing.
3. “Take 5” deep and mindful breaths upon waking in the morning and again before bed at night.
4. Notice “bells of mindfulness”, the things that subtly get our attention through the course of the day (e.g. stop lights, church bells, waiting in line, door bells, etc.)
5. Notice body posture, sensations in the body, and areas of tension or relaxation.
6. Practice attentive listening to others without multi-tasking or thinking ahead.
7. Speak mindfully. Pause before you speak and ask yourself “is what I wish to say necessary? helpful? true?”
8. Notice automatic thoughts or judgments.
9. Notice when you are multi-tasking and how it feels as compared to when you are working on one thing at a time.
10. Turn off the radio/iPod/television and listen.
11. Take a yoga class. Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, or Yin Yoga are especially mindful.
12. Pause briefly to ask yourself two questions: Where is my body? Where is my mind?
So this Halloween I am passing out “Take 5” candy bars – not only because they are my favorite! I hope to encourage my clients, friends, and family to “Take 5” to check in with themselves in the present moment, here and now. Take 5 breaths. Take 5 minutes. Take time to check in with yourself – your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it!
Here is a great explanation of Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Categories: Skills and Resources