Do you often find yourself thinking about what happened or went wrong yesterday, or what you have to do tomorrow?
When we think too much about yesterday, we miss out entirely on the present moment. While our body maybe present, our mind could well be thinking about your to do list for tomorrow.
It’s extremely easy and normal to get caught up in these thought processes because our brains are wired to focus on the negatives that have happened or could happen either side of the current moment. We end to live in fight or flight mode 90% of the time. By practicing mindfulness, we improve our self awareness of these thought processes and can slowly re train our mind to feel and be more present.
While staying present might not feel safe for some (those who have experienced trauma of any kind, need to check with a professional if practicing mindfulness is safe for them), for many of us, it can alleviate our anxieties of all past and future.
This June, it will be one year since I rebranded my blog, to music and mindfulness. Ever since I began my own mindfulness journey almost three years ago, not only has it changed me for the better, as a person but, it has also enhanced my wellbeing through regular meditation practice and training my mind to remain as present as possible.
We all experience a certain amount of stress in our day to day lives. We may often struggle to balance our work and life, or we may find it harder to separate them due to our working from home situations. Whatever levels of stress we experience, it is important for us to know how to recognise the signs to help us cope better with it. April is stress Awareness month in the UK, and the good news is that mindfulness can help us manage our stress.
Meditation is of course one of the methods, but even taking 5 minutes during a daily task, to focus internally on how you are feeling, can also help reduce stress levels. If you are feeling overwhelmed by juggling too many tasks, take a step back and write a list from the most important task, down to the least.
If last year was one of the toughest yet, for so people, having some sort of a routine may have become a thing of the past.
If you did manage to keep a routine during lockdown, good for you! I know I definitely did as I find it hard to function without one. Routines are so important because they provide us with a sense of purpose and normality. They can also make us feel better and a little bit more accomplished.
If you struggle with concentrating on your breathng during meditation, it maybe a good idea to do a simple, short, yet effective breathing exercise beforehand.
Not only does it allow you to become familiar with hearing the sound of your breath, but it will also ease you into your meditation practce. I really like the Relax breathing technique on the Calm app. You can begin this technique for only 2 minutes, and then increase it for longer depending on how you feel. The have more than one kind of breathing exercise on their app, but this one has quickly become my favourite due to its short inhales and longer exhales.