Essentially, mindfulness is the process of purposefully bringing your attention into the present moment; not thinking of anything other than the moment you are in
You may have noticed I am a big advocate of meditation and promoting self love. And I am aware that this is no easy task. You may have heard of the benefits of mediating and wanted to try yourself but never knew where to start or were never quite able to switch off your thoughts. Sound familiar?
You're not alone, I began my journey several years ago in my early 20s, there were times I just gave up because it was "too hard" but with time, perseverance and patience, I have gotten to a stage where I feel able to guide others to their own successful meditation practise. And I started with mindfulness.
First of all try to remember these 3 key points:
- NEVER compare your spiritual journey with another persons, we are all on different paths
- Meditation is a skill which needs to be nurtured and developed over time- There is no one right way to achieve successful meditation, it differs from person to person. What is important is that you feel comfortable and relaxed
We all have our different reasons for venturing into meditation, and what ever the reason, the objective is the same, we want to be the best version of ourselves.
Some benefits of meditation:
- Reduce Stress
- Lessen anxieties
- Creates a more positive outlook
- Become more self aware
- Improves focus and mental clarity
- Improved self control
- Better Quality Sleep
The first step ... check in with yourself
In order to learn how to practise mindfulness, you need to check in with yourself. Notice how you are feeling, ask yourself why you feel that way. What are you thinking, is that contributing to how you are feeling? These questions allow you to become more self aware.
Mindfulness is a technique which encourages you to notice what is happening at that present moment, in your mind, in your body and in your surroundings. Mindfulness stems for Buddhist traditions, but you don't need to be religious or spiritual in order to do this.
Did you know?
We created our stacking stone collection based on a mindfulness exercise inspired the ancient technique of stacking stones. Stacking stones are a great tool to practice being present - as you stack the stones you need to focus to find balance, as you clear your mind, you relax making this task much easier.
Find balance in the stones, find balance within yourself.
Mindfulness takes practise, it is a skill which is developed over time; it's also worth noting it isn't for everyone, just try it and find out.
Modern society can create stress for the mind and the body, creating anxiety, trouble sleeping and problems with depression and addiction. Mindfulness encourages you to notice thoughts that come into your mind, if these thought are negative you interrupt those thoughts by grounding yourself. To do this I recommend trying the FIVE technique:
Stop what you are doing and notice
1. 5 things you can see
2. 4 things you can hear
3. 3 things you can smell
4. 2 things you can feel
5. 1 thing you can taste
This is a technique that I found most successful when I began to practise mindfulness. The more you interrupt negative thought patterns with this technique, the less your mind will think that way. When you begin this exercise, it will be a conscious effort however the more you do it the more you mind will ground itself automatically. This technique also allows you to pause before you react to stressful scenarios, meaning you will react more calmly and feel more balanced emotionally.
Sometimes it isn't just thoughts that impact you negatively, it can be your surroundings too. If you notice tension, a fast heart beat, shallow breathing or maybe even sweaty palms, these are all signs from your body telling you that you are in a environment which is having a negative impact on your energy. When you feel like this, give this technique a try:
Another technique you can use to interrupt thought patterns and anxiety attacks, is through crystal healing. You may have seen one of my previous posts describing the purpose of a sacred space; spending time in this space, uninterrupted and alone, allows you to check in with yourself.
Maybe you are feeling anxious about an upcoming meeting or event. Ask yourself, why are you feeling this way, what are you worrying about? By addressing these thoughts, you are becoming more self aware.
Setting an intention, such as, "I am confident and full of light and I believe in myself" and writing this down will help focus your mind. In this example, using crystals such as carnelian and citrine, will help to align your frequency to your intention. Carnelian boosts confidence and creativity, whilst citrine provides a golden healing energy throughout your energy field, giving you motivation and a boost of positive energy.
Hold the crystals in your hand and repeat your intention. Using a crystal palm stone will mean you can carry your intention with you; when you notice the anxiety or tension building, hold your palm stone repeat your intention, bring you back to balance.
The more familiar you become with these exercises the more naturally you will incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. I have many different ways I practise mindfulness, give these a try too:
- mindfully eating / drinking : notice the textures, flavour and scents of your food and drink. I recommend starting this with a mindful coffee in the morning, just sit still, no distractions and enjoy each and every mouthful of your coffee. Trust me, your day will be better for it!
- mindful walk / run : notice the breeze against your skin, maybe its raining, is it cool rain or warm? What can you hear / smell? Noticing these things keeps you in the present moment and prevents your mind racing
- mindful shower : feel the water against your skin, what scent is your soap, is it relaxing or uplifting? Visualise the water washing all the tension and negativity from your body, washing away down the drain, leaving you clear and energised.
I highly recommend you giving some of these techniques a try, stick to one for a few days and move onto another if it doesn't work for you. Remember, practise and patience is needed, you are learning a new skill. Stick at it, try them every time you feel necessary, and maintain this practise for a month or so.
You will notice a sense of calmness, you will feel lighter and you will react with love and kindness.
This is the path to your best self, let me know which techniques you find work best for you, comment below!