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The vast meaning of mindfulness: Ways to be mindful apart from meditating

Mindfulness can be an important part of our mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing but we may often understand mindfulness = meditation which isn't always the case!


For many, meditation can feel daunting (myself included!). When I was experiencing a particularly stressful period in my life and was experiencing high levels of anxiety that thought of sitting silently and trying to relax was overwhelming and terrifying!


I felt like if I didn't practice meditation, there was no other way to be mindful. Maybe this resonates with you too.



Now lets begin to really define mindfulness. Meditation is a form of mindfulness BUT isnt the only way to be mindful. Mindfulness is our basic human ability to be present aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It extends to many different aspects of our lives and can be practiced in many different ways. And guess what? ANYONE can practice mindfulness in pretty much any location at any time.


Now you may be wondering - how do I even begin to practice mindfulness? Maybe you're like me and had thoughts spiralling at 100 mph with no thought of slowing down and trying to be present seemed impossible. The aim is to start small. The more we practice little bits of mindfulness, the more we can build on that foundation to practice it during our day.


Here are a few exercises that can help you engage in the present moment:

  1. Use your sense of smell: Essential oils or pleasant smells can be really beneficial to ground us in the present moment. Keep one near your near or workspace to help ground yourself when you need to

  2. Try cold immersion: Cold water and ice can help you immediately calm your mind. Try placing an ice cube on the back of your neck, or splashing your face with cold water.

  3. Bring awareness to your surroundings: Sometimes we move so fast through our days we may miss a lot of the details going on around us. Describing in detail everything you can see thats going on around you.


Mindfulness is truly how YOU practice it! I hope that these suggestions will help you to begin engaging your senses and bring more mindful throughout your day :)


Sending love,

Carly




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