Written on request for Southern Cross Care Magazine March 2018
by Mardi Rogers
You’ve probably heard the term Mindfulness, but what is it, and how can it help?
Mindfulness is the art and practice of being aware of the ‘now’. You may be surprised that most of us spend about half of our time thinking about something other than the task at hand. Our minds are amazing – but unfortunately we’re often overrun by thoughts – reflecting on the past, or feeling trepidation about the future –projecting our mind anywhere but here.
Stress cannot live in the now
Mindfulness is the art of reconnecting to the present by becoming deeply aware of this moment. And the truth is that stress cannot live in the now – the mind needs the projection of past and/or future to create stress and anxiety.
One of the best tools we have at our disposal to practice mindfulness is our breath. Just becoming conscious of your breath for 3-5mins a day can create that little bit of ‘space’ so many of us need.
Try this anytime, anywhere…
- Stop. Allow thoughts to settle – not trying to push them away, but not engaging
- Bring your awareness to your breath – not in any controlled way, just noticing
- Invite your mind to become aware of the breath. You might like to think to yourself, Now I’m breathing in, Now I’m breathing out
This simple exercise can take as little as one breath – or try it for a few minutes. If you find your mind distracted by thoughts, that’s OK, just gently invite your awareness to come back again to the breath.
You can also print out this PDF of 2 more mindfulness of breath techniques…