Mindfulness has become a very popular movement, and I’m glad. I’m sure by now
you’ve seen at least one magazine at the check-out stands about Mindfulness and how
it can change your life. Well it’s true. Mindfulness is a tool that can be used for quite a
few things. Mindfulness is an active and open attention on the present and can really
fine-tune your feelings and perspectives in order to manage stress, negative thoughts
and anxiety. Processing your emotions and thoughts before you take action, while
reflecting on your past actions can give insight into the present and allow you to
navigate life in a more present and mature light.
Because our thoughts create our reality, being aware of those thoughts is critical.
Mindfulness helps to keep us aware of our thoughts. It is often useful for addressing
flaws in our thinking and correcting them with ease and less effort.
Mindfulness can also be used as a great form of meditation giving you a break from all
the noise and chatter that goes on in our daily lives. (More so today than ever).
Mindfulness is the perfect stress reliever
When I learned to meditate many years ago, my life changed in ways that I could never
have imagined. I was at one time guilty of looking at external conditions and had the
tendency to struggle and resist ideas I was unfamiliar with. Over time I realized that
when my conscious mind is quiet, calm, peaceful and receptive, the wisdom of my
subconscious mind can rise to the surface and give me all kinds of incredible answers
and solutions to my challenges. Now when I tell my body and mind to be still, they have
Although learning to mediate can be a little daunting for some, if you’re interested in
giving this a go, try it and keep at it for a while. You will be happy with the results you
Let’s look at how you can start your first mindfulness session with the best chances of
Step 1. Breathe
The first step is simply to breathe. Breathing deeply in and out through the nose will
help you reduce stress levels by circulating more oxygen in and through your body and
sending signals to your brain that you are in the ‘rest and digest state’. The release of
Cortisol will decrease, and your brain activity will slow down with deep breaths. Try it!
Breathe in and out slowly and deeply until your body relaxes.
Step 2. Concentrate on Your Senses
This is an excellent way to start bringing your attention inward, away from any stresses
of the day or any thoughts about what you may need to do or even what you may have
forgotten to do. So just listen out for any sounds that you normally miss, notice if your
body feels warm or cool. Notice any smells you detect. Don’t ‘look’ or listen for sounds, just let them come to you. You’ll likely find there is much more in your soundscape than
you ever realized. You may hear birds chirping, you may hear the wind rustling or even
trees blowing in the wind. These are sounds that escape us as we move about our days
in a hurried state.
Step 3. Use Progressive Relaxation
Turn your awareness inward even more. Concentrate on each body part as you tell it to
relax and be still. Start with your head and neck. Then relax your shoulders, torso, etc.
and notice how your muscles begin to relax as you concentrate more on relaxing each
body part. Continue to move down through your neck, shoulders, arms and all the way
to your toes, relaxing each part of your body as you place your attention on that part.
And just notice how the parts of your body feel as you become more aware of each,
With practice, you will eventually be able to take yourself into a relaxed state of being at
will. Enjoy the process and don’t give up on it.
Step 4. Let Your Mind do What it Wants
Finally, allow your mind to do whatever it wants. This means allowing it to wander,
allowing it to sit still: whatever. The point is to remain detached from the flow of
thoughts. While you might notice your thoughts, refrain from getting ‘caught up’ in them.
When you notice yourself getting lost, simply bring yourself calmly back to center and
notice your breathing.
Relax throughout the process. No need for pressuring yourself ever. Worry is also
unnecessary. Results are not always immediate but stick with the process. Remember
to just enjoy the pleasant and peaceful journey of relaxation. The whole point is to just
allow yourself a gentle break and the more you push for results, the less likely they are
Now try this a few times during the day and notice how calm and relaxed you become
throughout your day. It’s a wonderful feeling with many benefits The more you practice
this, the more calm you will feel and then you’ll want to explore other forms of
meditation that will take you even deeper into yourself and your inner being,
For additional resources on meditation go to Resources.