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Friday, 14 October 2016

Daily Mindfulness

Adapted from Madeline Klyne, an Instructor at the Stress Reduction Clinic, University of Massachusetts Centre.

practice daily mindfulness for mental well-being

Whenever you feel you have ‘lost it’, when life feels really hard, or when your practice has been hard to sustain; remember that you can always come back to the breath.  No matter how long you’ve been away, you can always start over again, in this moment, right here, right now.

  • When you first wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, bring your attention to your breathing.  Observe 5 mindful breaths.

  • Notice changes in your posture.  Be aware of how your body and mind feel when you move from lying down to sitting, to standing, to walking.  Notice each time you make a transition from one posture to the next.

  • Whenever you hear a phone ring, a bird sing, a train pass by, laughter, a car horn, the wind, the sound of a door closing – use any sound like the bell of mindfulness.  Really listen, being present and awake.

  • Throughout the day, take a few moments to bring your attention to your breathing.  Observe 5 mindful breaths.

  • Whenever you eat or drink something, take a minute to breathe.  Look at your food and realise that the food was connected to something which nourished its growth.  Can you see the sunlight, the rain, the earth, the farmer, the trucker in your food?  Pay attention to as you eat, consciously consuming this food for your physical health.  Bring awareness to seeing your food, smelling your food, tasting your food, chewing your food, and swallowing your food.

    quote for daily mindfulness
  • Notice your body while walking or standing.  Take a moment to notice your posture.  Pay attention to the contact of the ground under your feet.  Feel the air on your face, arms, legs as you walk.  Are you rushing?

  • Bring awareness to listening and talking.  When listening can you listen without agreeing or disagreeing, liking or disliking, or planning what you will say when it is your turn?  When talking can you just say what you need to say without overstating or understating?  Can you notice how your mind and body feel?

  • Whenever you are waiting in a line, use this time to notice standing and breathing.  Feel the contact of your feet on the floor and how your body feels.  Bring attention to the rising and falling of your abdomen.  Are you feeling impatient?

  • Be aware of any points of tightness in your body throughout the day.  See if you can breathe into them and, as you exhale, let go of excess tension.  Is there tension stored anywhere in your body?  For example – your neck, shoulders, stomach, jaw, or lower back.  If possible stretch or do yoga once a day.

  • Focus attention on your daily activities – such as brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, washing up, putting on your shoes, doing your job.  Bring mindfulness to each activity.

  • Before you go to sleep at night, take a few minutes and bring your attention to your breathing.  Observe 5 mindful breaths.
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