Taking care of ourselves first
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you”. Similarly, self-care is also about having a special relationship with yourself – one that is life-giving and supportive. They say that mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experiences. Mindfulness gives us space to breathe.
Why be Mindful?
Mindfulness is non-judgmental awareness of your present moment experience.
It can help us become more aware of what is going on for us internally and externally. We become more present to the “right now”. (Aislinn Burke, Centre for Change)
Why be mindful?
According to Aislinn Burke from the Centre for Change, Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression.
It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment. As we become more present in our lives and in relation to others, it can help us to make better decisions, to manage our emotions and to be more fully engaged in life. (Aislinn Burke, Centre for Change)
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
- Improves wellbeing
- Decreases stress
- Improves physical health
- Increases ability to regulate emotions
- Promotes metacognitive awareness
- Decreases rumination via disengagement from perseverative cognitive activities
- Improves mental health
- Increased relationship satisfaction
- Improves mindset (How to adopt a mindset of abundance)
- Increases ability to focus and live with intention
- Improves working memory
- Overall better quality of life
Want to learn more about the impact of mindfulness?
How to Practice Mindfulness
“Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices. Like taking time to pause and breathe when the phone rings instead of rushing to answer it”.
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it” ~ Share Saltzberg
How can we be mindful?
The key ingredient of mindfulness is awareness.
We can learn how to be mindful at anytime, anywhere and while doing most anything? In DBT, mindfulness is broken down into “What” and “How” skills.
“What” is what we actually do when we are practicing mindfulness.
The first skill is to Observe. We can observe internally or externally. This is just noticing what we may see, hear etc., or what we are feeling, thinking or noticing within ourselves.
The second skill is to Describe what we see or what we experience without judgment. For example, if I’m looking at a picture I would just describe exactly what I see. I would not state whether or not I liked the picture.
And, the third skill is to Participate. This means to fully throw ourselves into the experience. For example, when you’re dancing, you would allow yourself to fully dance while letting go of inhibition or judgment or feelings of self-consciousness.
The “How” is how you practice mindfulness.
And, the first step is Nonjudgmently. This is to let go of evaluations of “good/bad” etc.
The second is One-mindfully. This means to do one thing at a time, letting go of multitasking.
And, the third is Effectively. This means to let go of right versus wrong/ fair vs. unfair. It means to act as skillfully as the goal requires. As well as doing whatever is needed in the moment.
Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience. ~ J Kabat-zinn
Now it's your turn...
I invite and encourage you to sign up for this challenge. Worried about lack of time? No need! You will get an email once per week with a mindfulness exercise or meditation for you to try. Let me help you begin your mindfulness journey!
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