Self-care and Mindfulness: What is it?
Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, body, feelings, emotions, and sensations in the present moment without judgement and with purpose and intention. Mindfulness is about the here and now. Mindfulness puts the focus on self. Practicing mindfulness is a form of self-care as it can guide your thoughts and attention away from negativity, distorted thought patterns and stress. Mindfulness is important as it not only improves physical health like chronic pain but also alleviates stress, helps with regulating emotions, decrease mental health issues like depression and anxiety and improves overall focus and clarity.
Mindfulness meditation can even help with medical conditions like asthma and fibromyalgia. Mindfulness meditation improves attention and can decreases burnout. Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways. I often instruct my clients to pay attention to their five senses and be present with taking notice of what they see around them, what they smell around them, what they can touch, what they can smell and what they can taste in the moment. Paying close attention to your surroundings and being intentional with everything that you do so that you can live in the moment is key to mindfulness. Be mindful of how you treat yourself and what your self-talk looks like. Are you saying positive, nice things about yourself to yourself? Are you doing nice things for yourself? How are you showing up for yourself?
Paying attention to breathing is also a great way to practice mindfulness. Being intentional about your thoughts without judgement and observing your surroundings is also practicing mindfulness. Practicing gratitude which is also a form of mindfulness, puts your focus on the positives in your present life. Focusing on the positives over the negatives helps create positive outcomes and a positive mindset. Practicing mindfulness can include visualization and relaxation to decrease stress and clear your mind. Mindfulness is a good technique for individuals who experience mental health issues and can also be beneficial to anyone seeking to gain a positive affect and overall well-being.
Not all mindfulness techniques are for everyone. Each individual person must create and engage in mindfulness that is tailored to their needs and desired outcome. Some mindfulness exercises can be done anywhere and at any time, like deep breathing and paying attention to your five senses. Some mindfulness exercise requires for time to be set aside, like yoga and guided meditation. Remember mindfulness is about learning how to be present and in the moment with intention. Mindfulness can shift your thoughts related to self-care as it helps to boost your mood. When you are in a better mindset, you are more engaged in asking yourself what you need and then putting into practice the things you need. Part of self-care is being able to know what makes you feel good and improves your overall well-being. Being mindful helps you pay attention, be aware of and focus on self with intention and without judgment. Therefore being able to know what you need and care for self. As always stay safe, stay well and take care of you. Until next time.