What is Mindfulness?
According to MayoClinic, Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Spending too much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and reengage with the world around you. By being mindful, we reduce stress, enhance our performance, gain insight and self awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to our overall well-being. Win Win!
Is it hard to do?
Practicing mindfulness isn’t complicated –
but it can be challenging
Slowing down and being HONEST WITH OURSELVES is uncomfortable! But it doesn't have to be HARD!
It just will take some practice. And the more we work on finding our balance, the less work it will be to do so.
The ease will come with the DOING.
You will receive the same amount of benefits as you put into the practice of being Mindful. If you want to feel better, YOU WILL. But you will have to do the work first. All good things come with time and effort.
Gaining these benefits can be as simple as closing your eyes and being silent for a few minutes a day. This is a practice that is so easy, anyone can do it!
Will it help me FEEL better?
When you induce a state of relaxation, which can be achieved through mindfulness you can reap the benefits, including:
- Higher brain functioning;
- Increased immune function;
- Lowered blood pressure;
- Lowered heart rate;
- Increased awareness;
- Increased attention and focus;
- Increased clarity in thinking and perception;
- Lowered anxiety levels;
- Experience of being calm and internally still;
- Experience of feeling connected.
Is it for everyone?
Mindfulness and other inner work practices may make you feel worse before you begin to feel better.Much like how a huge mess gets made when we start deep cleaning. It happens.
Focusing deeply on your inner self can trigger uncomfortable or even distressing feelings, so you should be aware of this potential and have emotional tools you can utilize to help cope with such experiences. Journals, Friends and Family, or even a Doctor.
If you are concerned that practicing mindfulness might be difficult or distressing for you, consider working a mindful program with a therapist.
A mental health professional with experience in this area can help guide you through the process, integrate your experience, and develop skills that will help you cope, and heal.
Body Appreciation Meditation
Hello Boudieful, and welcome to this BODY APPRECIATION Meditation.
Today I will be guiding you through an exploration of the body, stopping to focus on gratitude as we go along.
Please find a quiet place to rest. Encouraging your eyes to close when you're ready.
Now simply sit with your body. Check in with it. Taking the time to pause everything and connect.
Feeling the rise and fall of your chest. Following the breath, noticing the unique rhythm of it.
Now, takes some time to disconnect from any mind chatter.
Overthinking or scattered thoughts can prevent us from engaging with our physical body.
With a few deep breaths, let your thoughts clear.
Any time you feel your thoughts dominating your mind, come back to the breath and clear them out.
Sometimes when we connect with the body we become critical. You may have noticed your mind drifting into judgment as you explored your body. If so, take a few moments to return to the areas where appreciation was a challenge. Sit with these body parts and allow any and all thoughts to surface. Good bad or in-between.
Now, lets get started. I want you to just breathe, eyes closed and think about your body from the top down. Feel where your Hair starts to grow, connect with your head. Moving into the forehead and the face. Consider your eyes. How important they are to you. Everything that they take in. How they help you identify faces. Internalize information and appreciate beauty. No pair of eyes is exactly alike. Your eyes are completely unique, like yourself.
Consider the beautiful colors and the intricate dimensions of the eyes. Connect with your ears too. Admiring their dynamic shape, their ability to listen, hear. They gift you the sound of laughter, of hearing everydays beauty.
Out loud or in your mind, repeat, "Thank you, eyes. Thank you ears," as you sit in appreciation.
Connect with the nose and mouth now. Taking a nice deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do it again. Do it one more time. Express appreciation for the natural filtration system of the nose. The tiny hairs that help filter the air that you breathe. That help reduce allergies we breathe in. Offer thanks for your lips. Your strong teeth. Your tongue. Repeating, "Thank you, nose. Thank, mouth," as you sit in appreciation.
Moving down the spine, feel the strength of these important bones, the bones that keep your body erect and moving. Straighten the head, neck, and your back as you repeat, "Thank you, spine. Thank you, back."
Now, connect with your arms bringing your attention all the way down to your fingertips, connecting with the muscles here and the delicate bones of the hands. Think of what those hands allow you to do every day.
Holding appreciation in your awareness, repeat, "Thank you, arms. Thank you, hands."
Shifting your attention to the chest now. Once again, noticing the gentle rise and fall of your chest and abdomen as you breathe. Feel your heart beating in harmony with the rhythm of your breaths. Think of what they allow you to do every day. Repeating, "Thank you, lungs. Thank you, heart." Bring attention to the abdomen now. The core of the body. Breathe into it. The stomach and intestines and their many important jobs and functions. Think of what they allow you to do every day. Repeating now, "Thank you, core. Thank you, stomach."
Moving down into the legs now. Feel the strong bones here and the muscles that help you walk. Connect with the feet, appreciating every tiny muscle and bone here and repeat, "Thank you, legs. Thank you, feet."
Now, clear the mind once again using the breath, creating a blank slate, making room in your mind for appreciation.
Clearing away the dark thoughts, the doubts, or negative self-talk and seeing your body for what it truly is; a remarkable vehicle, a true gift. Your body protects you. It nourishes you. It allows you to experience everything that life has to offer. Take a few moments to treasure it. Appreciating it for its uniqueness and divine beauty.
Feeling appreciation flowing from the top of the head. Flowing into the spine. Down into the arms and fingers. Spreading through your chest and abdomen. Down into the legs and feet. Feeling your whole body glowing with gratitude. Now, begin to let your breath return to a rhythm that is natural to you. Easy inhales and exhales.
Open your eyes when you're ready. Wiggle your fabulous fingers and terrific toes and return to your day with a renewed appreciation for your amazing and unique body. And all that it allows you to do. TO BE YOU.
Because love, YOU ARE BOUDIEFUL!