More Mindfulness Practices for You!

You did it! You’ve successfully participated in 7 Days of Mindfulness. Just before we share in cyber-high fives; let’s finish up with more mindfulness practices.

Today, we’ll take a look at getting up and tuning in to our bodies, some habit changers that may bring more joy and light into your life, the benefits of dancing, taking control of your tech habits and figuring out how some our our most thankless tasks can provide us with some joy.

You can use short yoga practices to start a new day or to re-balance a hectic one in the middle of the afternoon.
Here’s what you need to do,
1) stand feet hip-width apart and toes straight ahead. Take a moment to stretch any way that feels good.
2) return to your relaxed standing pose with arms at side and eyes closed. Notice breath and how your body feels. How are you feeling? Tired? Agitated, awake? Hungry? Note the feelings without judgement. Take a few more breaths and begin to move
3) inhale and sweep arms toward the sky. Exhale and sweep arms toward the floor and towards your back. Fold into your knees. Inhale and stretch the crown of your head forward elongating your spine making it parallel to the ground. Exhale and fold back into your knees with your arms back keep knees slightly bent. Inhale and sweep arms overhead as you gently come back to standing pose. Exhale and bring our arms to prayer position. Let them relax down to your sides.
4) Once you’ve completed this half sun salutations repeat 3 x. Then check back in ….how are you feeling?
5) if you are enjoying the experience continue doing this in series of 10.
And 6) finish by standing, gently smiling, and being aware of your breath.

Tailor it as needed. Listen to your body.

Trying something new pushes and challenges ourselves. It’s an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and to take risks that show us we are stronger than we think. When life gets to be mundane and you start feeling sorry for yourself put yourself in a new situation.
1)Take an unfamiliar route to work or the way home: notice what you see. When going for a walk try a different route.
2) Try out a new recipe or use an ingredient that’s new to you.
3) start a conversation with someone you usually don’t speak with. Ask them how their day is going?
4) Go somewhere new ( roller skating, new restaurant, new store),
5) Try looking at a different perspective – a different news program or paper that offers different views than your own and be open to understanding their point of view. Change your own perspective.

The only way you can dance it to be in the moment. Your body feels the music and it wants to move. Dancing incorporates several brain functions at once: kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional It allows for creativity and provides a medium for self-expression, It helps reduces stress and it feels good to do it.

For some people it’s easier said than done. Establishing rules and routines help form good habits around how and when we use technology. Technology has figured out how to reward our brains with dings and bings and likes so we find it hard to put it down and often want more. Only resulting in the complete opposite of mindfulness. Technology can be super amazing and with good benefits. But like anything …too much a of a good thing can be bad. So here are some challenges and strategies to help take control of our bad tech habits.
Challenge
1)Information Overload – work, texting, gossip, news, humor, video, shopping, going down the rabbit hole result in spending too much time online and not here and now. Strategy – Budget your time, choose sources wisely, set limits.
2) constant distraction – you’re constantly checking and responding to emails, texts, etc. you’re half participating in your real life. strategy come back to your body. Do one thing at a time. Unplug. Connect with real people in real life.
3) Friends and family are attached to a device – you’re spending time with people and they’re on their phone. Set agreements about how you will spend time together. During dinner no phones, when hiking no phones, it’s important to be unplugged when you’re together. And
4) children spend too much time staring at screens. It’s hard to get their attention. Talk to them about it and set limits….you’re the adult their the children. Phones should not be in bedrooms. Limit blue light emission especially before bed.
Interact in real life.

Okay you’re probably like is she kidding me? No, I’m not there are so many daily household chores that go unnoticed and most of all are thankless. Look at washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, dusting the furniture. I know some of you like those chores but most of us don’t. Next time you have to wash the dishes start by looking at the situation What do you see? How do you feel? What do you notice?
1) note your emotions ( annoyed, dreading,
2 ) What are you thinking? Are you in the moment or are you somewhere in the future.
3) begin cleaning slowly. Notice the warmth of the water, the shape and colors f the bubbles, the scent of the soap. Admire your work. And
4) as you wash each dish let go of the anticipation of what you could be doing. Just be here right now.
5) when you are don notice your accomplishment. Be proud of our job well done.

Thank you and I hope the past 7 days have helped you cultivate some mindfulness practices in your daily life.

Here’s to creating a healthier, happier you!

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