Mindful moments – reducing stress with simplicity
The pace of our world today can feel overwhelming. In my practice each day, I see the toll that pace is having on women and their families. Often when we have been juggling too many things for too long, our nervous system starts to become conditioned to always turn on in crisis mode. One of my favourite ways to calm things down is to practice being present in the moment. This is what mindfulness is. To be fully present in this moment.
Meditation is one way to be mindful and is a commonly used strategy to de-stress. But if sitting still and doing nothing is too daunting or not possible then consider beginning your practice with mindfulness. Being present is like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So, if you are struggling to be present or feeling overwhelmed and anxious try the following exercise in your day to day life:
- Find a routine task that you need to get done – I usually do this while I am folding laundry or cooking (because with three kids, there are plenty of opportunities for both!). But you can do this with any task that takes your full attention but that does not require multi tasking.
- Take a few deep breaths
- Then just notice everything, without judgment:
- Feel the softness of the fabrics in your fingers.
- Notice how tight or lose the elastic is on the socks.
- Are you sitting or standing, how do your legs and body feel?
- How does the knife feel in your hand, is it cold, is the handle metal?
- What is the texture of the food you are chopping or stirring?
- Are you hot or cold?
- What can you hear?
- Are you tired or anxious?
- Take in your surroundings
- Keep breathing!
4. Check in with your body. How do you feel? Are your shoulders tight and clenched, is your jaw clenched? Are you standing on one leg or both?
5. If you get interrupted because of kids or work or life, then take care of what you need to in order to come back to this. Its not about how long you can do it at one stretch, it is a practice. If you wanted to be able to lift a heavier weight at the gym, you wouldn’t try to do all the reps in a single day or gym session. You would just keep trying to lift as much as you could as often as it fit your life. And you will make progress
This is just like that. Exercise your mindfulness muscle as often as you can, and you will soon find this is a great tool for finding calm in a crazy world.
Joy and peace are found in the present moment. Are you here?