In a perfect world, our days would be filled with bliss and relaxation. But let’s face it: everyday life—let alone the unprecedented stresses of a global pandemic—brings its share of anxiety and concern. Wouldn’t it be nice to peel yourself away from life’s stresses? Mindfulness may be a practical solution. According to the Mayo Clinic, 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. It incorporates breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. Sound good? Here are some examples of beginner mindfulness techniques you can apply in the comfort of any peaceful surrounding:
- Pay attention. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses—touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. When you eat a favorite food, for example, take the time to smell, taste, and truly enjoy it.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting, and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, sit down, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
I’ve been trying to implement some of these techniques into my daily routine. I know for me, taking the time to slow down and take a good, deep breath help me to clear my mind and tackle the next task with improved clarity and energy.
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