Mindfulness – when the going gets tough
When times are tough
When things get tough we often feel anxious and perhaps we might even have issues with sleeping at night.
Every time we get stressed, a little part of our brain called the amygdala takes control.
The amygdalae defines and regulates our emotions. They also preserve memories and attach those memories to specific emotions (such as happy, sad, joyous).
These are called emotional remembrances. Read more here
This is a key region of our brain which plays an important role in helping us cope with anxiety and depression.
The good news is that mindfulness practice can actually shrink the size of the amygdala and increase our stress reactivity threshold.
By practising mindfulness, we can change how we react to stressful situations and improve our mental and physical well-being.
The following mindfulness exercises are ones that are commonly recommended by therapists.
They are a way for you to stop what you are doing in times of need and be mindful of the moment. It is a way to reduce stress and bring your mind back to a place where you can be productive and healthy.
1. Seeing Mindfully
For this exercise you will need to be in a room with a window. Sit comfortably at the window and look outside. Observe everything about the scene in front of you and focus on colours, shapes, and movement.
Take in as much of the scene as you can, keeping your mind focused on the scene in front of you.
2. Five Senses Exercise
The five senses exercise is one that is frequently recommended for those with anxiety. It is meant to be done in the heat of the moment. You can do this exercise quickly at any time, to help you ground and center yourself to tackle problems head-on.
First, stop what you are doing. Decide that you are going to be mindful for a moment. Don’t let what is going on prevent you from doing the exercise. Try to stop all activities and all thoughts.
Next, you’re going to focus on the five senses. Find five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
This exercise can be done very quickly if you are pressed for time, or you can take the time to observe each thing you come to as you explore your senses.
3. Breathing Space Exercise
The 3 minute breathing space is another mindfulness exercise that is very good for people with busy minds who have trouble focusing on any one subject.
First, stop what you are doing and simply think, “How am I doing?” Allow the thoughts and feelings to flow through your mind and give them labels and words.
Do this for one minute. Then you are going to focus on your breathing for one minute, letting those thoughts go.
Then for the last minute, you are going to expand your awareness to your body, and how the ins and outs of breath effect it.
4. Eating Mindfully
Eating mindfully is a good exercise for those who are trying to overcome eating disorders or trying to lose weight in general. It is also a good way to bring yourself to the moment. When you sit down to eat your meal, consider the feel of the food in your hand or the feel of the fork if you aren’t eating finger food.
Smell the food. Focus on the different smells that are present in the food and the environment. Then, move on to eat the food mindfully. Focus on the texture of it in your mouth, the variety of tastes that it has, and chew very slowly and deliberately.
This exercise will ground and center you and if done with every bite of food is a technique for controlling appetite and portions.
Mindfulness in Therapy
If you have problems with anxiety or have a mood disorder, mindfulness exercises can help you manage your symptoms. If you need additional help with these problems or if you simply need more information about practising mindfulness contact a mental health professional.
For more info on the excercises read more here
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes….including you!”
©2021 gentlelifehacks.com| Author| Kathryn