5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness

Funnily enough I am exposed to stressors everyday, much like you I suspect. Actually, scrap that first sentence. Who ins't exposed to stressors everyday? Its not like we are all constantly on holiday and the most stressful thing is waving the poor, aging Balinese away from massaging our feet on the beach as we sip fresh coconut water (or bin tang). If you are, you lucky thing!

Point in fact, we can allow our everyday life challenges to overcome us like a wave swallows us at the beach ripping our bathers from our body, leaving us exposed and vulnerable OR we can practice Mindfulness...

Its a term thrown around a lot these days but what does it really mean? More importantly, how can we apply it to help us deal with these waves that consume our emotions and essentially our behaviours?

Glad you asked (oh wait, you didn't... hhhhmm maybe subconscious you did- you're reading this right?) Well, keep reading as below I have 5 red hot tips for practicing Mindfulness that you can start applying now. With a little conscious effort you will start feeling a little less reactive, a little less stressed and foster better relationships with loved ones.

#1 Breathe- there is good reason this is number one.

Breathing allows the oxygen filled blood to flow to your brain. Deep breathing through our nasal passages activates the parasympathetic nervous system that creates relaxation. Breath is fundamental to human existence and it helps to focus our attention on body and mind.

Try this:

Stop all that you are doing, right now! Find a comfortable position, sitting ideally, slowly exhale all the oxygen from your lungs. Focus in on what you are doing.

Inhale, deep and slow through your nose, counting s l o w l y to four. Filling your lungs with air until you can't inhale anymore. Your tummy will lift into your rib cage, expanding your lungs.

S l o w l y count to four as you hold your breath.

Exhale to the s l o w count of four, allowing all air to expel from your lungs. Sometimes it helps to make a hhhhuuuuuuuhhhhh noise as you do this and exert the waste air.

Again, hold your breath for another 4 seconds before repeating. When you feel calmer, get on with your day,more mindful and do this whenever you feel like you gonna lose your shizzle!

#2 5 4 3 2 1 Exercise -This is a great exercise to try when overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and panic of impending to do list. It grounds you in the now and allows you to focus, regaining control of racing thoughts.

It is great to say them out loud, however writing them down will work too.

Try this:

Say or write 5 things you can see right now in your immediate surroundings.

Say or write 4 things you can hear.

Say or write 3 things you can feel- this can be clothes, desk, or inanimate object

Say or write 2 things you can smell.

Finally, say or write 1 thing you can taste. This could be your stale chewy, the nuts you ate earlier or the mineral taste from biting your tongue.