Move from chaotic to mindful in 3 steps

mindfulness well-being Jul 16, 2022

Mindfulness is the capacity to maintain continuously focused attention on a familiar object without forgetting about it and without being distracted by other thoughts, mental images, sounds or sights. 

 

The study and practice of mindfulness have changed the way I live life. Although I have full days and am committed to achieving big goals, I no longer subscribe to strife and chaos. Albeit quite often chaos is around me, the positive influence on my mood, energy levels, relationships and productivity has been transformative! Mindfulness is a powerful resource for managing and reducing stress, overwhelm and anxiety. It is one of the first resources I offer when working one-on-one with a client. You will notice it features on the blog and in the OM membership quite a bit too! 

 

I would be bold to suggest that our inability to refine our attention is a cause of stress, anxiety and emotional breakdowns. This is because many people live in a state of hurry, having no time, feeling breathlessness and tension, all creating a lack of inner harmony and ease. These feelings and experiences are 'normal' for many, and from a perspective of nurturing well-being, living that 'normal' is not supportive. Developing a mindfulness practice changes all of that. Sometimes there is resistance to beginning a mindfulness practice, the thoughts of hurry, the constant feeling to be busy to get the next thing done, out rationalise the benefits of pausing for a momentary breath and re-focus. If you have the courage to get out of your head and commit to becoming mindful throughout your day, you will be rewarded with the experience of more time, and you will find yourself feeling more accomplished and productive. 

 

Here is 3 Step Mindfulness exercise to help you begin your mindfulness practice. This is also a great activity when a formal mindfulness practice may not be practical. For example, if you feel a sudden sense of overwhelm, can't seem to catch a break with the children, or have lost all focus at work, you can pop into the break room, bathroom or outside and practice these steps.

 

  1.  Step out of autopilot 

 

In this moment, try to bring your awareness to where you are, what you are doing, and what you are thinking and feeling.

 

This is a moment to pause. Standing or sitting, take a comfortable, relaxed upright posture. 

What thoughts are coming up? What are you sensing and feeling?

Give your thoughts and feelings your attention as they are. Please do not add extra meaning to them or meditate on them. Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings as natural experiences. Then let them pass.

Become aware of who you are as you are in this moment.

 

  1.  Become aware of your breath

 

For this moment, focus only on your breath.

 

Allow yourself to breathe naturally, not forcing any breath pattern. Notice the air flowing in and flowing out. This may be through your nose or mouth. Bring your attention to how your body moves with each breath in and each breath out. Notice how your chest and abdomen rise and fall as the air flows to your lungs. Feel the sensations of your breath through your body.

Find the pattern of your breath, and use it to anchor yourself to this moment. By that, I mean to use your breath as your focal point of awareness for up to a minute or two.

 

  1.  Expand your awareness outward

 

Move your awareness from your breath to your body and then your surroundings.

 

What physical sensations are you experiencing? Are you feeling tightness, aches, or lightness? Feel your body as a whole, the vessel for your inner self. Feel the sensations, then let them go without meaning or rumination.

Now bring your attention to what is in front of you. What can you see? Notice colours, shapes and textures. Notice things as they are, and be aware of your surroundings in the moment.

Take a breath and end this activity.

 

 

Use this activity throughout the day as often as you need to support you in cultivating a mindful state. It is the type of practice you don't know you need until you do it! Let me know in the comments below the improvements you see and feel using this activity.

 

 

For those who would like to understand more about mindfulness, you may enjoy an essay I wrote earlier in my studies. It digs deeper into the impact of attentional balance and happiness. You can read it here.

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, please share it by email, Twitter or Facebook. It may make a difference in someone's day!

 

 

As always, remember your reasons, your health, your mission and the people you love.

 

OM xx

 

 

📸 Photo by Breana Panaguiton

 

 

 

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