What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of living completely in the present moment as it is happening, without getting carried away by thoughts, and without judgement.
At The Well, we like to break mindfulness down into three steps as a way to practice being present:
- STOP. Pause what you’re doing and give yourself a moment to pay attention to what’s happening around you and what’s happening inside you. Try not to judge your feelings or thoughts, just acknowledge them and let them go.
- BREATHE. Focus on your breath. The breathe is what brings you into the present moment. You cannot breathe into the past or the future, just the here and now. Observe it making its way in and out of the body. Repeat this process for as many times as you need.
- BE. Arrive here, right now. Do not judge yourself for what you believe you should be doing, or dwell on what has already happened. Give yourself permission to be in the present moment and to let go of worries.
Check out this quick video for an introduction to mindfulness:
Are there different ways to be mindful?
Absolutely! Mindfulness has a focus on being present and in the moment. For many folks, this can be practiced through different types of meditation - and there are so many different types!
Try different styles with different folks who lead it to figure out what works best for you. Try searching for guided imagery, body scans or progressive muscle relaxation, for example.
Mindfulness can also be achieved by journaling, coloring, exercising and even focusing on the breath! Again, it’s about finding what works best for you in closing out those running lists and mental tabs.
How do I know if I’m doing it right? I’ve heard it’s hard to do.
Many of us are on the go a lot of the time. Our brains have become wired to making running lists, or focusing on “What if’s,” and “I should.” Closing out some of those mental tabs can be challenging. Fortunately, there isn’t just one way to be mindful.
As long as you’re working toward being present, taking some time to get there, and dropping in to the moment, you are working toward being mindful. It takes practice to check into our bodies and our minds, but the more we do it, the more likely we are to decrease feelings of stress, anxiety, and sleep issues.
Here’s a 2 minute video on a beginner’s guide to meditation:
Mindfulness Events and Apps We Love
Each Wednesday at 2:30pm, join The Well for a 20-minute guided meditation in the Resilience Lab at 815. S. Cathedral Place. Sign-up on the Resilience Lab Calendar on our homepage to hold your spot!
Every Tuesday from 12:00-12:45pm, COBE and The ICA lead mindfulness sessions as well. Check out their calendar of events to sign up. Maybe even explore the museum while you’re there!
Insight Timer: Choose how long you’d like to meditate for, choose to just listen to music or have a guided meditation. Tons and tons of free meditations.
Headspace: Lots of themed meditations so that you can find what works best for you! There is also a feature called SOS exercises, in case you’re experiencing something serious and need some extra help in the moment.
Eat Right Now: helps you beat thoughtless or emotional eating habits through mindfulness
Craving to Quit: uses mindfulness to help you quit smoking that has been proven effective.
The only place you can be is here, now.
(Art by Dawn Carr)