Mindfulness is a practice that we describe as a way of paying attention, on purpose, and just being in the present moment. By being mindful we increase our ability to regulate our emotions, decrease anxiety and stress levels, and it helps us to focus our attention and observe our thoughts.
The benefits of mindfulness and being " still " almost seem endless, but the most important things about being mindful and still is that it helps us emotionally, spiritually and physically and nothing is off limits in this realm. From reducing chronic pain, to helping us get in touch with our feelings and emotions, being still allows the Universe to move in our favor because we have quieted the chatter that so often slows us down, gets in our way and in many cases gets us completely off track to where we are meant to be and should be going.
Practicing mindfulness and stillness is not hard and anyone can do it. While it may take some getting use to, and you may have to redirect your thoughts when first starting, the simplest way to begin is :
- Find a quiet place and sit or lay down. Remove any distractions from you like your cell phone. Sometimes, being able to go into a room and closing the door behind you will ensure no distractions.
- I always recommend setting a time limit that is comfortable to you. Start slow and small. If you are knew to this adding too much time may begin to race your thoughts ( you know thinking of all the things you should be getting done rather than what you are trying to do ) .
- Close your eyes and begin to feel your breath rising and falling. Focus on your breath. You should start to notice that your body begins to feel lighter.
- As you continue to feel and focus on your breath rising and falling, try to quiet down your mind. Meaning, the only thing you should be focused on is your breath rising and falling. When thoughts start to creep in, no matter the thought, redirect yourself back to your breath rising and falling. This part will take some practice. Don't get frustrated with yourself or mind for wandering. It is going to happen especially when you first start out. Remember the first time you started riding a bike with no training wheels ? You wobbled, you got your grip, you wobbled again, you fell, you got up, brushed off the dirt, got back on the bike and did it again. Each time you wobbled or fell, you started over or you were able to straighten the bike out. When first starting mindfulness and stillness think of it as the first time you rode that bike. You're going to wobble and that is okay.
Now, one of the things that I have had many clients come to me with when they are practicing mindfulness and stillness is this : " Sometimes, in my stillness I start to feel emotions or old situations come up from my past " How do I stop this from happening. You can't and you don't want to. Those thoughts and feelings are unresolved. When these things happen I want you to go back to focusing on your breath rising and falling. Redirect that thought, for now. When your time is complete I recommend that you then sit with that thought and emotion so you can begin to move past it. This experience has come up because you either didn't like or agree with the outcome, you never resolved the feelings to that experience, etc. There is still some sort of " attachment " and by reflecting back and being at peace with it, you begin to release the attachment. For some the attachment was never released because they feel as though they could have or should have done something different or that experience was in a totally different place and time in their life and today they are simply not that person. Acknowledge that times and circumstances were different then vs now, forgive yourself and release that emotion and feel confident in the new you. This may take some practice and it may not happen on the first try.
While there are many crystals I recommend when practicing mindfulness, I do not recommend them for beginners until you get comfortable with redirecting your thoughts and being able to focus on your breathing. It is my experience that a beginner tends to focus more on the crystal they are holding ( shuffling it around in their hand, etc). This time will come.
How much should you practice mindfulness ? I always recommend at least 10-15 minutes, at least once a day and one should work up to about 30 minutes a day whenever they can. If you cannot do 30 minutes every day, try doing 10 or 15 a day and reserve at least one day a week where you can complete 30 minutes.
Remember, being mindful and still allows the Universe to go to work for us. When we remove all of the chatter, the problems, the frustration, we not only see things clearer, but we also begin to feel better and a lot lighter. These things weigh us down and they do not allow us to push forward in the direction we are meant to go. Often, when we are in modes of chatter, clutter, frustration and life circumstances it is hard to focus on a solution because we are too focused on all the other stuff. It is increasingly difficult to manifest, find direction and feel emotionally and physically balanced when our minds are off in thousands of different directions.
By being mindful and still we allow the Universe to speak where we can hear it.