Saturday, February 7th, 2009
As you know, I have a preoccupation with folks becoming self-aware and self-directed. I deeply hope to encourage you to tune into yourself and to honor your inner wisdom, which I sometimes refer to as inner guidance. I believe that this is key to creating the incredible life (check out http://www.lifeisincredible.com ).
One of the practices that will help you to follow your inner wisdom is the practice of mindfulness. I came across an article by Padraig O’Mrain of the Irish Times. Not that I’m looking at the Irish Times every day, but I generally try to keep abreast of any articles on REBT & his came up.
Padraig graciously agreed that I could share his mindfulness tips with you, which I found to be so simply put and user friendly that I was thrilled to pass them along.
Please enjoy these tips about mindfulness.
The Happy Knack of Knowing Where You’re At by PADRAIG O’MORAIN
Mindfulness involves taking your attention away from the past and future and away from your imagination - and instead becoming aware of what is going on right now. You can do this as you go about your daily life. Notice with your senses: what you are seeing and hearing, that you are breathing, standing, walking or sitting or lying down, the feel of the air against your skin as you move along.
Your mind will keep drifting out of the present so you need to keep bringing it back. It is bringing your mind back to the present that makes up the practice of mindfulness. Never criticise your mind for drifting away: just bring it back kindly and gently.
Mindfulness has been used for thousands of years in the Buddhist tradition to improve people’s experience of life. It lowers anxiety and stress, provides an antidote to brooding (which can lead to, or maintain, depression). It also helps you to avoid endlessly repeating distressing or unhelpful thoughts, images and mental scenes. Exercises like those below have been used for centuries to help people practice mindfulness as they go about their daily life. The first two need only take a minute or so but will help you if you repeat them a few times a day.
From time to time, notice your breathing.
Notice your posture.
Notice the points of contact between your body and the chair, floor, ground.
Notice your clothes touching your body.
Notice sounds in the room; sounds outside the room; the furthest away sound you can hear.
Every time you drift into thinking, just return to noticing these sensations.
This involves using habitual behaviours to remind you to practice mindfulness. Choose one or two and then decide that when performing them you will maintain awareness of what you are doing, rather than daydreaming or getting caught up in fears or anxieties: Using the telephone ~ Going up or down stairs or steps ~ Using a computer mouse or keyboard ~ Tidying ~ Washing up ~ Showering.
Awareness of Breathing
As you go through your day, notice your breathing from time to time. All you need to do is notice your breathing: you don’t have to breathe in any special way. You could notice one or more of the following: Is your breathing different now to what it was a few minutes ago? Is it calmer or more laboured? Are you breathing with your chest or your tummy (abdominal breathing is usually more relaxing)? As you breathe, can you feel movement in your diaphragm (between your ribs and your abdomen)? Can you feel the air entering and leaving your nostrils?
Let me know what else you guys would like to learn more about. Feel free to submit your inner guidance questions or questions about creating an incredible life!
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