Healthy Cove

MINDFULNESS 101

There’s a new trending practice across Insta-feeds, Pinterest boards, and coffee shop chatter: how to be mindful. Practicing mindfulness is about focusing yourself on the present and being intentional throughout your day. So, if you find yourself distracted while you read this, or if your mind feels too cluttered, learning to practice mindfulness can help you feel lighter and refocus your day.

Mindfulness has several definitions:

  • The mental state achieved by focusing on awareness of the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, or bodily sensations.
  •  The self-regulation of attention with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
  •  The ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, while not getting overwhelmed by what’s happening around you.

Mindfulness is a personal practice, so it’s fine to craft your own definition.

mindfulness

There are three foundational principles of mindfulness:

  1.  Awareness
  2.  Acceptance
  3.  Attentional redirection

The goal of mindfulness is to set an intention with a purpose. Your intention can flow into a relationship, an objective at work, better mental health, or improving your self-esteem. Your intention for the day can even be as simple as taking time to breathe.

Awareness

This step is your starting point to become a more mindful person. It’s all about experiencing life and recognizing if you are or are not present in the moment. Awareness isn’t about staying on track 24/7 or daydreaming your day away. By taking time to realize if you are present in the moment, you’re gently nudging your brain back to focus on the here and now. Awareness is as simple as acknowledging you feel “this way,” or are thinking about “that.” It’s the first step to recognizing your present reality.

Acceptance

Acceptance is perhaps the most freeing aspect of mindfulness. If you ever feel frustrated with yourself, practising mindfulness can help. It’s normal to get distracted, daydream, or get caught up in emotion. Yes, it’s even okay to do so (gasp!). Accepting your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations will allow you to notice their value or effect to then move on. Dwelling on things you cannot change can send you down a spiral of agitation, discontent, and leave you at a standstill.

Attentional Redirection

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, panicked, or anxiety-ridden, intentionally redirect your attention. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling what you do. Adjust your focus to the sound of a coworker’s keyboard, the stitching on the steering wheel, the weight of your body on the bed, the expanse of your breath.

Cultivate Mindfulness

Several techniques and resources are available to easily cultivate mindfulness as a daily practice.

1. Getting in the Right Headspace™

This app is a treasure trove of thought-provoking and calming messages to help you practice mindfulness throughout the day. Most of the 15–30-minute sessions are led by a mindfulness expert. Each gets you calm, present in the moment, and leaves you with tips you can recall any time you need them.

Both meditation sessions and mindfulness sessions cover an array of focuses, sleep sessions, sleep sounds, and more. The Headspace app is free to download at the App Store or Google Play and has a plethora of free sessions. There’s also a paid plan option for any serious mindfulness gurus.

2. Meditation Class Is in Session

Let’s try a few moments of meditation. Find someone to read this to you in a calm voice, pausing a few minutes after each step.

Gently let your eyes close.

Settle in and feel your feet on the floor, your spine stacked, your hands in your lap.

Take a moment to focus on your breath.

Feel the weight of your diaphragm change as you take a deep in-breath…and now a long out-breath.

If your mind has drifted off, acknowledge that thought. Accept it, without judging it.

Gently bring your attention back to the body, acknowledging any sensations, tension, or pain.

Let those sensations exist. Give them room in your body to be.

Turning your attention back to the breath, feel the weight of your diaphragm change as you take a deep in-breath…and now a long out-breath.

When you’re ready, open your eyes.

Do you feel refreshed, lighter, more mindful?

3. The Game of Life

Living is complex, chaotic, exciting, enthralling, and a swirling mass of all those things together. Pick an area of your life you’d like to improve, be more attentive to, or gain more from. Practising mindfulness around a main area of your life can reap amazing benefits.

Let’s see which of these best fit your situation:

• Mindful Eating

Nutrition is a large part of your daily routine. It can be either fuel or frustration, depending on your eating habits and relationship with food. Intuitive eating mixes nutrition with mindful practices to help strengthen your body and your mind. There’s even a Mindful Eating Guide on Health Line’s website that’s a fantastic starting point to stay present in and out of the kitchen.

• Mindful Parenting

Piles of laundry and toys + raging teenage hormones + homework on the new math system x crying terrible twos + navigating a first-time crush = one majorly exhausted parent. Mindful parenting techniques can turn the crazy times with your kids into manageable moments of love and growth. Taking time to slow down and be present not only makes things easier for you, it does the same for your child. A brave paediatrician tells her story for practising mindful parenting—it starts with ending perfectionism.

• Mindfulness at Work

The grind. The nine-to-five. Payin’ dem bills. A big majority of our life is spent at work, behind the desk, punching the time clock. It’s easy to just go through the motions, without being present and intentional about the work we’re doing or the interactions we have. There are realistic ways to be more mindful in the workplace, though. Make it a priority to take breaks to clear your mind and refocus on your next task. Remember to actively listen to conversations you have by making solid eye contact. You could even try email meditation. Check out this great article for more mindful workplace tips.

• Mindful Students

Teachers recognize the flood of information that comes at students is a lot to process. Even the quick switch from subject to subject can leave children on autopilot. That’s why some teachers are starting their lesson plans with a daily mindful moment for themselves and their students.

Now you better understand what being mindful means, take the next five minutes to be in the moment, accept yourself, and direct your attention with intention. Remember, your mind is becoming a non-judgmental zone—soft lighting, river sounds, and all. Take a deep in-breath…and exhale.

ECLS Energy

TECHNIQUES TO RAISE YOUR VIBRATION

Do you ever wonder if you are on the same page as the universe?  Somedays, it can be a struggle, but I would suggest not to go there, instead try to keep your positivity in check, by trying to raise your vibration.  Below is a How-To article that I picked up from Spiritual Health that gives you techniques to raise your vibration instantly!

**In an ideal world, you get to wake up every day feeling grounded and centered in your strongest emotional, mental, and spiritual state. In this world, reality is more complex than that. Whether it is due to an intense astrological event, an unpleasant personal experience, or an unexpected outside force, every once in a while you may find yourself feeling drained and not your best self. Fortunately, you are always in charge of your own experience and can turn this around momentarily when equipped with the right tools to raise your vibration.

When you feel yourself getting carried away by the life’s hectic energies, and you want to regain your center and raise your vibration or overall state of being fast, the following tools are here to help you.

Raise-your-vibration-gratitudeUSE GRATITUDE, LOVE, AND JOY | RAISE YOUR VIBRATION

Love for yourself, others, and the world around you is at the very top of the emotional scale. It is the highest of all of the positive emotions, and it is often grouped alongside of appreciation, compassion, joy, gratitude, and passion. There are no bad emotions on the emotional scale, the lower ones are there to provide you with valuable information as well as show you where you have been holding your focus. To change your focus instantly and raise your vibration, you should tune-in to the emotions that have the highest resonance: love, gratitude, and joy.

Three ways to align with these vibrations are:
-Say out loud three things that you are grateful for today to quickly shift to a state of gratitude. It matters not how big or small these things are, but rather how you feel about them. You can say that you are grateful to be alive and that the sun is shining above your head. You can be grateful for your loved ones. You can be grateful for that amazing and nutritious meal you had.
-Call someone you love and ask them about their day. Shifting the focus from you to other people is a sure way to get out of your own funk.
-Say or do something nice for a person next to you. This also shifts your focus towards other people, which is psychologically proven to instantly raise your mood. As a Chinese saying goes, “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

Raise-Your-Vibration-FoodNOURISH YOUR BODY WITH FOOD

Nutritious food is a vital part of our day, and there is a balance to achieve. Just like eating processed junk food is bad for you, so is forcing yourself to eat otherwise healthy food that is simply not making you happy. Your goal is to keep trying new foods and recipes until you find what is equally beneficial for your body and joyful for your soul.

Quick tips to find balance in your culinary choices:
-Eat organic, raw food. It can be smoothies, juices, salads, or even healthy raw desserts from nuts and fruits. There is a lot to learn from the raw vegan diet and thousands of recipes to discover and try. There is something out there for everyone.
-Drink plenty of filtered water. This will help detox your body, which in turn will help you feel better and lighter.

LET YOURSELF RELAX AND REJUVENATE

A busy, cluttered mind can be a cause of much distress. The monkey brain, as psychologists call it, has the ability to create problems that do not exist through worrying about things that might never happen. Your goal is to gently and lovingly stop it. To do so, you can incorporate different healthy relaxation techniques.

Quick relaxation tips:
-Take a bath with Epsom salt to relax and detoxify the body. Try adding some essential oils to help soothe the mind as well.
-Choose a meditation that serves you at this moment. It can be silent or guided, or you may choose to do a walking meditation in a park or in nature.
-Do a short breathing exercise. One example is the 4-7-8 breath. To practice this type of breathing exercise, inhale with your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale with your mouth for 8 seconds. Just doing this for a few minutes will help you feel more calm and centered.
-Say no to things that drain your energy; things that are not your responsibility and are often done only out of guilt or obligation. Choose how you spend your time and energy wisely.

Raise-Your-Vibration-TreeGET CLOSER TO NATURE

In Japan in the 1980s, scientists developed what they call Forest Therapy (also known as forest bathing). While for people who love nature this was not new, for the big city dwellers this was groundbreaking. This therapy is different from hiking, as the people participating do not have a particular destination in mind and are not in a hurry to get there. The idea behind this practice is to simply be inside nature, breathe it in, and once again feel that you are connected with the whole world. Many say that it helps see the world anew with all of its vibrant colors and amazing potential. If ever there was a perfect way to raise your vibration, this is it.

Tips for appreciating nature:
-Walk barefoot on the ground and lay on the grass.
-Find a tree that stands out to you and go next to it. Hug it or sit by its trunk and meditate.
-Unplug from all of your electronic devices for an hour or for a day.

START MOVING AND SHAKING

Your physical wellbeing is closely connected to your emotional state and is important to raise your vibration. Negative emotions and traumas can get physically stuck in parts of the body. This is why physical movement is so important; it can literally shake out the stuck energy that is not serving you. Getting physically moving also raises the endorphins, hormones responsible for many functions in the body. They also trigger positive emotions.

Quick tips to shake it up a bit:
-Go for a run or a brisk walk.
-Stretch or do yoga.
-Start dancing like no one is watching. Turn on the music that brings you joy and move in any way that feels right.**

 

East Coast Life Solutions offer a selection of Energy modalities such as Reiki, Aroma-Touch, Symphony of Cells and Chakra Balancing to raise your vibrations. Go to our website Offering page to prices www.eastcoastlifesolutions.com 

**Special Acknowledgement to Spiritual Health and Katalina Aster for this excellent article.