What does it mean to be Mindful?
Being ‘mindful’ is simply to be conscious or aware of something. To be mindful is to be focused on the present which can be very therapeutic and good to get back in touch with what’s going on around you. Being Mindful is being able to observe your surroundings being able to pay attention to the smallest of details.
Why is Mindfulness important?
Mindfulness helps us regulate our feelings, decreases stress, anxiety, and depression.
DBT explains Mindfulness as being broken up into two parts. ‘What’ and ‘How’ skills.’ What’ skills are what you are doing by participating in a mindfulness activity. You are observing, describing. ‘How’ skills is how you do those things, You do them non-judgementally, mindfully and effectively. By putting both of your ‘What’ skills and your ‘How’ Skills together, you are able to be more mindful.
When you are observing and describing, your opinion is solely based on facts, for example, if you were sitting on a bench watching people walk past you. You would observe and describe the man that just passed you was wearing a blue jumper. You are taking in the detail, noticing the world around you.
It can be difficult at time to be mindful and to keep your brain in the state of mindfulness. It is important to notice that your mind has begun to wander, and bring it back into that state. Do not be disheartened if you indeed struggle at first. After a while of practicing being mindful, it will become easier to do so. This is an example of how you do this non-judgementally, you do not judge yourself for losing focus.
Activities to help you be more mindful.
Guided meditation is a great way to get yourself into the present, by meditating you open up all the senses. You will feel much more relaxed and mindful after having even just a small 10 minutes of meditation. It takes some getting used to but it would be most beneficial for you to fit it into a weekly schedule. During Mindfulness Meditation do not force your brain to shut off, notice the feelings and thoughts come to your head, allow them and they will leave on there own.
This is always the first thing that pops into my head when I think of Mindfulness, I love coloring and I find it very therapeutic. I also love to create my own colouring pages, by drawing design and scanning it in. It gives me the ability to colour whatever I want based on my own preference or mood. When I’m participating in mindfulness colouring, I focus on the colours and small details within the picture I am colouring. I let myself feel the colours and I don’t others think of the activity.
I find Yoga very helpful, it helps me wind down after a rough day. If you want to read about other benefits of Yoga check out my other post! Yoga focuses on breathing techniques which can also be useful if you suffer from panic attacks. By focusing on your breathing during Yoga you are being mindful to your body, observing it and going with the flow at your own pace.
Get in touch with nature
Getting out into the world whether it’s the beach, woods, etc. It can be really beneficial for your mental health and mindfulness. You can find peace with your surrounding, listening to the sounds and seeing the sights. Pay attention to the smallest details, look for the bee’s collecting pollen, listen to the birds sing there sing-song without wondering what the time is, what you are going to do later, etc. Be present in the moment and let go.
If anyone would like to chat about Mental Health I am always available. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via any of my social media’s. I am not a professional and I cannot offer you professional advice. I can offer a listening ear and help you seek help if need be. All conversations will be 100% confidential and I will not judge you in any way. I would hate for anybody to feel alone, you are not alone. I am here for you.
I have wrote a blog post for everyday of the week for Mental Health Awareness week, each day covering a different topic. Tommorow’s blog post is now available here.
The Topic is: Self-Care