It’s back to school season, which can be busy and chaotic as we try to settle back into a new routine and schedule. It feels really good to get back into a more “normal” routine again, but sometimes the stress of getting there can be overwhelming. Especially if you struggle with feelings of anxiety and worry. Mindfulness can be very helpful in managing our stress and anxiety, which will be especially important as we start this new month and season of life.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, and it’s a skill that can benefit anyone. It’s especially important for managing anxiety, because it can interrupt an emotion cycle that isn’t helpful. Many people think of meditation when they think of mindfulness, but that’s just one way to practice it. There are many other ways in which we can be more mindful and participate in this practice, which might include:
-Movement or Exercise. Specifically if it’s something you enjoy. This can be a great outlet and release and help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so we can process them, and eventually clear our mind.
-Visualization. Maybe it’s in a place you love or place you’ve visited. Maybe it’s a place you’d like to go. Oceans, mountains, forests…any special place that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Visualizing can help you clear your mind of the overwhelming thoughts as well.
-Music. And this is different for everyone. Sometimes it’s calming music, or maybe it’s something that brings back positive memories. Maybe it’s music that makes you feel nostalgic and back to a less stressful time of your life. Whatever it is you enjoy, music can be so therapeutic and allows us to work through some of those feelings and emotions.
-Taking a quiet walk in the forest or a similar place, allowing yourself to really use your senses to experience it…smell, sight, sound and touch. This can be a great way to practice mindfulness.
-Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. This can be helpful especially at bedtime or when you’re trying to wind down for the evening. Start with your toes and intentionally start relaxing them, slowly moving your way up your body until you get to your face and head. You may even fall asleep doing it : )
-Ground yourself when you feel the overwhelm or tension rise. Focus on a color or specific object. Allow your mind to quiet as you focus and ground yourself.
Remember, mindfulness is a practice. It’s about living in the present moment, and feeling all of those feelings and emotions without judgement. So often we spend our time worrying about the future or focusing on the past that we aren’t able to be present in the now. The goal of mindfulness is to become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, emotions and what is happening right now, without wishing it were different.
For more tips or to schedule a free 15 minutes consultation on how Empowered Mind and Body can help you reach all of your wellness goals, please use the online scheduling tool or send us a message if you'd like help scheduling.
In the meantime, happy meditating : )