Mindful of Stress

It seems that people are more open to talking about being stressed out. The question is how to lessen and relieve stress. Every time we watch the news we are bound to elevate our stress because so much news is negative. When tragedy hits in the form of mass shootings or natural catastrophe stress creeps into our psyche.

This month I have practiced trying to be more mindful of stress and immediately using some techniques to reduce it.

The following are some ways to lessen the impact of stress:

  1. Sit in a quite spot. Relax your shoulders and place your palms on your thighs.
  2. Let your gaze fall to the floor.
  3. Take a deep breath.
  4. Scan every part of you body and watch as you try to relax.
  5. Do not allow yourself to become distracted. Stay focused on getting your self as relaxed as possible.

We will continue to post different techniques to help you relax and become more mindful of stressful triggers.

Have a beautiful day!

Mindful Pondering

“In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us.”

                                                                – Peter Matthiessen

Spotlight on your breathing:

  • It is important to focus on your breathing every chance you get to be still
  • Find a quiet stop and take deep cleansing breaths
  • Be mindful of the moment
  • You may want to select something to be the focal point
  • Focus and notice the inhale and exhale cycles
  • You may want to count your breaths
  • Conclude your breathing session with an affirmation
  • Write down your thoughts about the experience and note the levels of calmness

 

 

 

Getting Into The Rhythm of Mindfulness

Every exercise to become thinner, healthier or simply more at ease takes time and lots of patience. There is a certain rhythm and pace that you will need to develop as you become more mindful.

I developed a short-term plan for myself at the beginning of my journey. I think of myself as a spiritual person. I pray. I meditate. I like to read to become inspired.

The first thing I did was to go to the book store to get a few books on the concept of mindfulness. I found several books I liked and purchased them. (I will include a list later) I prepared index cards with quotes and ideas that seemed to fit my needs.  Then I started a journal. I outlined my journal to cover a period of 30 days or a month. This is my way of making a commitment to the goal I want to carry out.

I jotted down three questions that I would be obligated to respond to every day. These are my three questions:

1. How were you mindful today?

2. What did you learn?

3. How do you think you benefited from the experience?

I tend to be a worry wart. I worry about my kids and grand kids. I worry about things I see happening around the world. My goal to become more mindful was to learn to become more relaxed and “not sweat the small stuff” so much. I kept reminding myself that in general I was pretty lucky. I am grateful for my life and every day is a gift.

I wanted to also develop my creativity and become more mindful of my poetry and writing. As an educator for more than half of my life, I knew that one thing I wanted to do was to help other people in someway. I missed teaching. I felt I was loosing my purpose.

So after keeping a journal for thirty days I realized that I had been on the right tract with my goals and my purpose to becoming more mindful. What I needed to stop paying so much attention to the news. I had become a news junkie after I retired. The truth is that bad news is what gets people’s attention. I try to worry less and pay attention to living and raising my vibe every day.

I started designing the life I truly want to live. I know I still have a lot of things I need to do on my bucket list of sorts. I discovered I have passions for many things and that I need to figure out ways to tap into the resources that will help me become more engaged.

 

 

Clarity and Mindfulness

Mindfulness requires clarity. We all need clarity in order to focus. These days I am trying to stay as  positive as I can. Too many negative news interferes with the streaming of positive thoughts. This may be a result of conflicting reports or confusion about what it true or distorted.

When you want to become more mindful then clarity of thought must be present. Clarity is the best path to a mindful existence.

One way to begin on a clear path is to drop some of the heavy luggage we fill with social media posts, text messages, and other forms of communication. It is a way to detox.

Visualization is a great way to gain clarity. I try to visualize myself swimming down a stream or small fall of clear or crystal like water. Water cleanses the body inside and out. I sit in front of a large pitcher of water and try to think about or focus on the blessings present in my life. I take relaxing breaths. I may even listen to the sounds of a waterfall or the ocean waves and imagine myself there in their midst.  I then focus on one or two things that bring me joy. For example, I may focus on my grand-daughter contagious smile. That is a sure path to make my day and put me in a good mood. Sometimes I may focus on a clear and straight path to a goal for the day or in the long-term. I try to estimate the steps I will need to take to reach a given goal. But do not hesitate to change the number of steps or to restate the goal you set.

Another strategy to achieve clarity and ultimately become more mindful would be to write the things or obstacles you know might get in the way of achieving true clarity and then cross them out or erase each one. As you erase each obstacle you might want to say each one out loud or simply say go away. This may sound a little silly but it works. I also read the list of obstacles and shake my head “no”.

Clearing you thoughts of the negative things you hear and see every day is good practice to develop mindfulness and to be happier. The idea is to know that it is a process of mindsets.

 

Mindful Painting

When I paint or draw I feel I have entered a new dimension. I feel free. I focus on one thought and let the paint brush do the rest. Sometimes, I paint with my right hand and sometimes I use my left hand so that I stay focused.  In this painting I switched back and forth. Hope you like it.

A Mindful Walk

Today I took a mindful walk. I noticed fewer leaves remain on the trees. I heard the neighbors blower going full blast. The wind lifted a bunch of leaves and made them swirl. While other leaves floated gently like parachutes from the sky. I picked up a few acorns and pine cones. I tried to listen to the soft crunch beneath my feet as I walked across the lawn full of yellow and red leaves. took deep breaths and looked up at the blue sky and the sun shining but getting ready to set for the day.

I decided to keep track of the number of steps I take daily trying to be mindfully more active. I was amazed that I had gained about seven thousand steps. This is a good ting I thought. I read somewhere that doing the same amount daily helps keep your weight pretty much the same. Mindful walking can benefit us in many ways. I felt totally relaxed. I also felt energized at the same time. I could honestly say I felt at peace.

When I arrived at the house I sat and traced some of the larger leaves I had collected during my walk. I will post my drawings later.

Practice

Walking mindfully can be practiced anywhere. Set a time. If you do not have a step counter you can always count your steps. Watch you feet as you step. Create a pattern in which to step. You know; right foot first then left or 5 steps to your left and 10 steps to your right. Be creative but most of all be mindful as well.

Happy Walking!!