Creating a Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness is simply the idea of being present in this moment, but how many of us struggle with this on a regular basis?
Signs You’re Not Fully Present
Here are some signs you might not be fully present in your daily life:
- feeling like you’re running on autopilot
- feeling overwhelmed and unable to concentrate on daily tasks
- difficulty remembering if you’ve already completed something you were working on
- feeling “stuck” in your head or unable to slow racing thoughts
Any of this sound familiar? All of us can probably recognize some of these in our lives, and this is where creating mindful practices can be so beneficial.
Here are some tips to start creating your own practice!
When we think of mindfulness, many of us become overwhelmed at the thought of adding one more thing to our already overloaded schedule. This doesn’t have to be the case! Pick a small amount of time (say, five minutes a day) and choose an activity to become fully engaged and present. This can be something you already do like brushing your teeth in the morning or waiting for your tea to brew. You could also choose something new to incorporate, such as sitting down for a five-minute guided meditation or journal session. Whatever you choose, try to make it a task that you can commit to daily, and make this your time to focus on the present moment as fully as you can.
Become fully engaged in the moment
Whatever activity you’ve chosen, take this time each day to stay present during this time. If you’ve chosen brushing your teeth (this is what I started with, it sounded manageable to me and did not add another task to my to-do list!), use all of your senses to be present during this – focus on how the toothbrush feels on your teeth vs. your gums, what does it taste like? What does it smell like? Pay attention to each movement of your hand. Or, if you’ve chosen to practice mindfulness with your morning cup of joe – sit without distractions (five minutes to start!) and smell the coffee, feel the warmth in your hands, really focus and enjoy each sip; how does it feel swallowing, how does it taste?
Keep practicing and stay the course!
Mindfulness is not something that comes naturally to us in our multitasking-driven society, it’s going to take patience with ourselves to be able to begin cultivating this skill. If you become distracted during your mindful activity, that’s ok and perfectly normal! Give yourself compassion and refocus when you notice yourself drifting. As this becomes easier, begin practicing in other parts of your day!
If you want help creating your own mindfulness practice, we’re here for you! Reach out to our office today!
About Melissa Champion
Melissa Champion, PLC, MSW, received her Master of Social Work from Grand Valley State University and is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). She specializes in anxiety, depression, substance use, and trauma work, using techniques including Mindfulness, Cognitive Processing Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She sees older teens and adults at Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids Ada.Meet Me