Rachel Letham, Associate Trainer at We Are Wellbeing, provides three tips on how to increase our mindfulness and reduce stress:
World Meditation Day
Meditation and mindfulness are the buzz words of the moment.
World Meditation Day is on May 21st, this is an opportunity for you to lean into the power of meditation and create a mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness is an amazing tool to be able to use to help us keep calm, reduce stress and establish a nourishing self care practice. It is something that we have to build as a daily habit to reap the benefits and lean into it more during times of stress or anxiety.
Today I want to help you find a way to incorporate meditation into your weekly schedule, tapping into this mindfulness tool, whether that’s inside, outside or on the tech side. Mindfulness is about bringing a sense of calm, even in the most challenging moments and acts as a way to remind yourself to have an awareness whenever fear starts to affect your decisions.
Tip 1: Mindful moments outside
Meditation doesn’t have to require you to sit cross-legged, repeating a mantra with your legs crossed and incense burning – in fact for me that’s the worst kind of meditation. This is about you creating a space for yourself. By getting outside and getting in nature you can tap into the powerful practice of mindfulness using your senses, get some vitamin D and fresh air and lean into meditation easily and gently.
Find a nice peaceful spot, sit or lie down and listen to the birdsong around you. Enjoy the feeling of sunshine on your face and the wind blowing through your hair. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so, or look around you and notice more about the world around you than maybe you would have done before.
Whilst you are leaning into the power of your senses take a nice deep breath in and out and feel yourself relax. Focus on the breath, breathing in deeply, maybe holding your breath for a second and then breathing out fully. Repeating this over time as you feel a sense of calm and stillness rush over you. Focus on the breath, relaxing the body and calming the mind.
This is a great way to lean into meditation gently, don’t overthink it, just tap into the senses you already have to hand and your best free asset, the power of the breath. Enjoy the moment and create your own meditative space.
Tip 2: Take a mindful shower
One of the best ways to bring mindfulness and meditation into your day to day life is to anchor your self care strategies to regular parts of your daily routine. As a mum of a toddler and a busy business owner, often the only time I truly get to myself is when I’m locked in the bathroom in the shower. It’s a great moment to tap into the power of meditation.
Take a few moments at the end of the shower to close your eyes, and enjoy the sensation and heat of the water flowing over your body. Take a few deep breaths in and out. Give yourself permission to enjoy a moment of peace and tranquility.
Focus on the breath, be in the present moment. You have nowhere to be, nothing to do. Count the breath if that helps to distract any thoughts coming in.
Enjoy the few minutes as you calm the body, focus the mind and practise a little mindfulness in your day.
Whilst you are in the shower it is a great time to visualise washing away your stress and anxiety.
🚿 Concentrate on the feel of the water upon your skin.
🚿 Envision the power of water washing away your negative thoughts.
🚿 Feel sadness, regrets, anger and depression washing right off you.
🚿 Let it all go down the drain and you will start to feel lighter and clearer
Tip 3: Tap into tech
If you want to get into strong meditation practice, using tools to support you can be a great way of feeling like you’re making progress, that you are establishing a habit and also getting inspired to try different types of meditation.
There are free apps available as well as paid apps, plus access to thousands of mediations via YouTube. It is important to find one that resonates with you, that works the way you want it and most importantly is led by a facilitator that you like to listen to, feel calm and relaxed with and you feel the benefits of. Before paying for an app try out their free trial so that you can see if it delivers what you need.
The benefit of using technology in your meditation practice is that you can take it anywhere that you go. It can help relieve anxiety on a plane journey, give you some peace and tranquillity when in a hotel room in a new city or even just help you unwind after a long day during your commute.
In-person events are also great for helping you build a mediation practice but there are also many free groups around the world online. Meetup.com has nearly 16,000 meditation groups across dozens of cities in the world. A total of eight million members are part of these groups.
There are many free online group meditations available if you search them out.
The important thing when it comes to meditation is practice. It is not something you can do once and tick off your to-do list. Maybe you’re not sure if meditation is your thing, or you’re already doing meditation regularly and want to expand your mindfulness practice, finding new ways to build your toolkit of mediation resources and styles can help you maintain your practice and help boost your body, mind and soul.
By Rachel Letham, Associate Trainer at We Are Wellbeing
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