Five easy mindfulness techniques for times of overwhelm.
Are you looking forward to Christmas? For some of us this time of year can be stressful. Perhaps you are very busy meeting other people’s needs and expectations, you might have financial stress, perhaps you have too much to do, or you have family problems, no family or lots of other situations that can get worse during this time. Is this you? Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas?
Here are 5 easy Mindfulness Techniques that anyone can do in a couple of minutes a day. If you keep a journal, you might like to note down your observations, challenges or emotions at the end of the day
1. Take Three Breaths
For as many times a day as you can, give your mind a short rest. Become aware of your breath and for 3 breaths focus on your breath and ask your inner voices to be silent. It is like turning off the radio or TV for a few minutes. Then open all your senses and just be aware - of colour, smell, touch and sound. At the end of the day, note down how many times you did this and any other observations about the practice.
Tip - I suggest using some reminders to do this - post it notes, alarm on phone or other reminder that works for you.
2. Mindful Eating
Each time you take a bite of your meal, put your fork or spoon back down on your plate or bowl
* place your awareness to your mouth and focus on the taste and texture of what you are eating.
*only when that bite has been enjoyed and swallowed, pick up the utensil and take another bite. If you are eating something with your hands such as an apple, sandwich or biscuit, put it down between bites.
Notice how you feel while mindfully eating and also for the rest of the day. Write your observations in your Journal.
3. The colour BLUE
Become aware of the colour blue as it appears in your environment. Just take a moment to stop and observe the environment you are in.
Look for and notice everything in your environment, at that time, that is blue, notice all the variations of blue Notice and then move to the next object with no judgement or involvement.
At the end of the day write your observations in your journal.
Anytime you find yourself waiting - in a queue at the shops, for someone who is late, for the program to load on your computer - use this time to practice your mindfulness.
Take three breaths, as described in example 1.
Don't be annoyed when you have to wait, be grateful for the extra time you have to practice your mindfulness and the feeling of calm that it brings.
5. Loving Kindness for your Body
Be grateful for and practice loving-kindness towards your body. Spend 5 - 10 minutes per day on this activity.
* On each in-breath be aware of fresh oxygen and vital energy entering your body.
* On each out-breath send this energy throughout your body along with these silent words "May you be free from discomfort. May you be at ease. May you be healthy."
Note in your journal how you feel at the end of the day.
This is just a sample of many techniques that you can use. All of these are not for everybody, just choose the one that works for you the best and integrate it into your routine until it becomes second nature.
My favourite is ‘Take three breaths’. What is yours? Comment below or contact me if you would like some more information.
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