5 Mindfulness Tips for Beginners
Guest blog by Kelly with Sowing Seeds Yoga for Cancer
Do you find yourself multitasking like crazy and before you know it the days go by in a blur? Don’t worry, you are not alone. I’d like to share a few tips that we can all incorporate to help us live more intentionally and stop letting our lives flash past us.
1) Check-in: Start by focussing on your breathing. Try it out when you are doing regular tasks such as dishes, laundry, driving, or even sitting at the computer. Take a moment and “check in” with yourself. Pay attention to the quality of your inhales and exhales. Are they fast and sharp, or long and smooth? Try taking full inhales, and long slow exhales. Doing this will help calm your body and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Slowing your breathing moves your body out of fight or flight response and into a relaxed state.
2) Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more: In order to build a habit and develop a new skill, it takes time and consistency. At first you might want to set an alert on your phone a few times per day. This acts as a reminder to check in with your breathing and where your body is holding physical tension. Overtime if you continue checking-in it will become natural and you won’t need your alarm. You will find yourself purposefully checking into your breath with awareness throughout each day, and using it as a tool to help release tension as it presents itself.
3) Focus on all 5 senses: Try noticing your senses at random tasks throughout the day. For instance, when eating, notice the vibrant colours, the way your food smells, how it feels in your mouth, if it’s cold or warm. Notice the sounds of the company you are with and the conversations being had over mealtime. If you are by yourself, enjoy the sound of silence or a song in the background. Be sure to stop and take a moment to enjoy the taste of the food, really pay attention to it. Life can be busy and sometimes we scarf our meals and snacks down in a hurry without much thought. Notice how the experience changes when you slow down and truly consider all 5 senses.
4) Move through it: When you find yourself feeling stuck, frustrated, irritable, and lethargic, or straight up pissed off, try shifting this energy through movement. Even just standing up, taking a few shoulder shrugs or arm shakes paired with some REALLY deeps breaths can be the perfect outlet your body and mind needed. Taking that time to move through your negative feelings can help prevent saying or doing something you may regret.
5) You time: Having a few moments alone in the day is important; yet sometimes getting this time is easier said than done (especially with kiddos). I hear ya, it can be a challenge to carve out those precious quiet moments, but I encourage you to try and prioritize. Take a few minutes first thing in the morning to start the day on a clean slate. Right before bed is another moment that works to really settle in for the night. Get comfortable, put the phone away and check in with your breath. Starting and ending your day with your own thoughts and stillness can be a great way to wipe the slate clean in ways that you need it most.