“Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest.
And let spirits fly in and out.”
These words by the poet Rumi gracefully describe mindfulness.
A State of Being
Mindfulness is a state of being. Right now, as you read these words, you are in a certain state of being. Perhaps you are relaxed, or you may be rushed or preoccupied! Every part of you from your toes to the top of your head is involved with your state of being, including your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we are not able to easily shift from one state of being to another. For example, we may feel stuck in negative emotions and thoughts.
How do we Practice Mindfulness?
As a therapist who Practices Mindfulness and helps others with the practice, I know there are many ways to engage in mindfulness! Your brain is built to do it! Most kinds of meditation are mindfulness practices. A simple way to engage yourself mindfully is to do a breathing practice. Even right now as you read this, you can take a moment to be mindful.
Notice Your Breathing as a Mindfulness Exercise
If you wish, right now, notice your breathing. Allow yourself to gently become aware of when you let the air fall in, and when that air eventually falls out. Notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. Gently focus your attention on the flow of your breathing. With your focus on your breath, you are allowing yourself a break from focusing on the many thoughts coursing through your active brain. Allow yourself to acknowledge that thoughts are there, always, but you are focusing on the breath. You are not chasing a thought or allowing a thought to carry you away.
Become an Observer with Mindfulness Practices
You are developing an observer! Furthermore, you gradually learn to witness sensations, feelings, thoughts, and reactions to people and places. You begin to develop a more powerful way of being present with yourself wherever you may be. As a result, you are cultivating a “witnessing mind.”
The Wise View of the Observer
The “wise view” refers to an ability to observe ourselves and identify our thoughts and emotions, without becoming chained to a particular thought or emotional pattern. We have more access to what is called the “wise view” because we cultivate a “witnessing mind.” Additionally, we develop the ability to truly track our own thoughts and emotions. This helps us be much more flexible with our reactions. Cultivating a mindful state of being helps us shift from one state to another.
We Become More Flexible and Calm
A mindful state is much more calming to our nervous system. When we are mindful, we have much more ability to navigate life. Our thoughts and emotions are much more flexible. We realize that we have control over our own internal processes. Mindfulness helps us understand that have control over our reactions!
Among the many benefits of mindfulness are:
- Lowered Stress
- Decrease Depression
- Decrease Anxiety
- Improved Memory
- Deeper Appreciation for self and others
- More Clarity about what you want in life
- Happier emotions
- Healthier Physical Body
- Better Relationships with Others
- Less Reactivity
Find a New Version of Yourself
You can feel quite different when you develop a mindful state of being. If you are able to watch and witness your own conditioned responses without acting upon them, you will feel like a new version of yourself!
There are many forms of mindfulness practice. Meditation comes in many forms. Breathing, visualization, sitting, and walking are a among the easier forms to put into your daily life.
When we wake up after a night’s sleep we have a wonderful opportunity to begin the day in a mindful way. Taking three deep breaths before starting the day can be a game changer. The power of breath is stunning. Deep slow deep breathing creates a lowered stress level and helps your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) “turn on” and the helps your sympathetic nervous system (which can trigger the stress response) “turn down”. This gives us more ability to be present and start our day the mindful way!
Let Mindfulness Reconnect You to Yourself!
2. LET’S GET TO WORK
Using the most current and effective treatment from the fields of somatic psychology, mindfulness, and neuroscience, we listen to and follow the wisdom of your own body.
3. LIVE YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE!
You emerge, free to live a life filled with meaning, satisfaction, and joy.
Other Counseling Services offered by Andrea-Marie Stark in Pasadena, CA
In addition to Mindfulness, Andrea-Marie offers a wide variety of holistic and spiritually driven services. These include Intuitive Counseling, Trauma Counseling, Somatic Therapy, Shamanic Healing, Reiki and Depth Psychology. If you are stuck and in need of a supportive and nonjudgmental place to rediscover yourself, reach out today!