Does your mind feel foggy? Is it difficult to focus on tasks? Are you having trouble sleeping or keeping a routine? Maybe it’s your business, jobs, relationships, or the current situation in the world causing you anxiety. I know where you’re at, I’ve been there.
Finding answers to everyday challenges is difficult. We wish we could have a ‘how-to’ book to guide us through this time, but the reality is that we may have those answers within ourselves – we just need to give ourselves the gift of time and find a moment to be mindful.
What is mindfulness?
The definition of mindfulness is very simple: Paying attention to the present moment in an accepting, nonjudgmental way. To do so, we need to take a pause and check-in with our body and mind. It seems like a daunting task but in reality, it’s easily available to all of us. Let’s try it together in this exercise.
First, let’s take a purposeful pause.
1. Take a moment to check in with your body. What does it feel like to take one breath? How does it feel to stand, or sit, with the weight of your body balancing there?
2. If your mind wanders, come back to the sensations in your body.
3. Close your mouth so you’re only breathing through your nose. Using your nostrils allows your body to filter the incoming air and also to breathe more slowly and thus more serenely. Try to breathe as slowly as possible.
Second, focus your mind in these affirmations developed by Jonathan Lehmann, that helped me a lot during my introduction to meditation:
1. I make plans, but I remain flexible and open to the surprises that life has in store for me. I try to say yes as often as possible.
2. I cultivate patience, and by doing so I also cultivate self-confidence.
3. I welcome the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and I do not let myself be guided by fear.
4. I love myself unconditionally because it is essential to my happiness. I love the person that I am and I do not need other people’s approval to love myself fully.
5. I am going to drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, walk, take the stairs, exercise. Today I’m giving love to my body.
6. I give everywhere I go, even if it’s only a smile, a compliment, or my full attention. Listening is the best gift I can give to those around me.
7. I try to be impeccable with my word and to speak only to spread positivity. It is counterproductive to my happiness to speak against myself or against others.
Congratulations, you just meditated!
Meditation is training your mind to stay focused on the present, not wandering about the future or dwelling on the past. You can practice meditation in different ways that will suit your needs. You can make it as short as just five minutes, or as long as your schedule allows it. It just a matter of giving yourself the gift of time and breath to check in with your body and mind.
It takes time to develop a meditation routine, but there are many tools out there that can help you have a consistent practice. In my case, I developed my routine using Insight Timer, by practicing hot yoga, doing neurofeedback, and just taking my time to breath and focus on myself. If you do this or a similar exercise for 10 consecutive days, I can guarantee you’ll start seeing meaningful changes in your life.