Best Self

Mindfulness 101

There has been a lot of buzz about mindfulness lately. If you get the concept, but are not sure how to apply it, you’re in luck! Let’s take a look at what it looks and feels like. Breaking mindfulness down can help take the complexity out of it. Small adjustments and shifts can help us de-stress and become more self aware.

What is mindfulness?

Being mindful means, we absorb what’s going on fully. For example, if we’re on a walk, we’re there, aware to the sounds, smells, and our environment. We chose to be present and don’t lean into distractions even with boredom. Being mindful means putting away distractions and focusing on the present. We are frequently ‘plugged in’ phone in hand, half browsing, half focusing on what’s in front of us.

What are the benefits?

Mindfulness allows our brains to grow. When we practice a new habit our brains form a new neurological pathway and this makes us sharper, faster, and stronger. Our brain is a muscle, we must exercise it. Having a daily mindfulness practice helps us to do that. If we’re present, we are learning, and when we learn, we become smarter.

How do I find time?

Studies show that 10 minutes of mindfulness can have a huge impact on our brains. Parenting, work, and life stressors can make us feel like we don’t have a minute to spare. Start small and work your way up. You’ll find a routine that’s comfortable for you.

What are some mindfulness exercises?

     -Mindful Breathing: seated for 3-5 minutes and solely focusing on 5 second inhales paired with 5 second exhales.

     -Mindful Walks: go outside and absorb your environment. Perhaps look at exploring unfamiliar paths or trails. Notice what you    observe, feel, and smell. Process these senses in your mind and commit to being present.

     -Mindful Journaling: take a moment to reflect on your day. Write down a couple things you are grateful for. Reflect on accomplishments and areas you can grow. Notice your feelings, self talk, and overall mood while doing this practice.

Written by Nicole Pierce-Risvold, MS – Family Psychotherapist

**Nicole is currently taking clients at Blooma St. Paul. Give us a call to find an appointment: (651) 340-8538