Mindfulness Practice: Some Simple but Effective Exercises to Slow Down and Practice being Mindful!
What is Mindfulness? I talk about being mindful in sessions quite a bit and hope that my clients try to implement a piece of mindfulness every day into their life’s, but why? What are the benefits and why do therapists and clinicians talk about this so much?
Mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, having many roots in Eastern traditions. However, there is much Western research supporting the mind/body connection and support for starting a daily Mindfulness connection in your life. Patric, Barbieri, in his article, Confronting stress: Integrating control theory and mindfulness to cultivate our inner resources through mind/body health methods, in the Journal of Reality Therapy, in March of 1996, state,
“ Mindfulness, an eastern meditation technique, people would benefit from stress reduction techniques by increasing their awareness of themselves. After they have learned to slowly bring in their fears and observe the behaviors they have used to repress them, they can learn how to stop the conflict within and transform and heal the mind and body. ”
Mindfulness is more than meditation! It entails, being present in the moment, focusing on the experience of living right now, here, and being observant of what is going on in this moment. That’s all we have is now. It also does not mean we do not think of the future, but as we think and experience a future thought, we are being present in that thought, whether we are planning and in anticipation, preparing, we are aware and observant of what is happening inside of our body and emotions as we are thinking and experiencing that future thought.
Below are some exercises from a great site called Between sessions, that you can sign up for on a weekly or monthly basis that will send mindfulness exercises to your email for you to participate in while building your “practice”. We say practice, because Mindfulness takes practice. It does not happen after a couple tries. Be easy on yourself! Have fun, no judgment, and try it! There are many different forms of being mindful, coloring, yoga, walking, breathing, just sitting! Or any combination of the above. . Here you GO, Have Fun and Be Mindful! You only have this MOMENT! Enjoy every one.
- Coloring: A simple way to reduce Stress in your life!
- The Importance of the Self Disclosure Game: – This simple game is designed to help people reveal their thoughts and feelings to others and to reinforce the mental health benefits of self-disclosure. It consists of a die with six questions that can be printed and assembled. A blank template die can be used to custom-make other self-disclosure games.
- The Habit of Relaxation– This download directs the user to set aside 10 minutes each day to practice the “relaxation response.” The pdf connects to a 12-minute audio of original music designed to calm the body and mind. The music can be downloaded as an MP3 file by right-clicking on the music player. The music can then be transferred to a smart phone or other audio device