Today’s topic is mindfulness!
One definition is:
“awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
I’ve been an overthinking and a worrier since I was younger. I found (and still do sometimes) myself either constantly worrying about the future or replaying the past, what I should’ve/could’ve said/done differently which caused me to feel anxious and overwhelmed a lot. Yoga and meditation really helped (and continues to help) me stay present in the moment more often. I’ve also learned how to go with the flow of life, accept and embrace where I am in the moment, surrender to the process and trust Divine timing.
In addition, mindfulness:
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Can help with chronic pain and lower blood pressure.
- Improves focus and concentration (which allows you to be more productive and have more energy).
- Improves your self-awareness (you’ll better understand your strengths and weaknesses and know where you can improve).
- Causes you to be less reactive (you’re less likely to snap or go off when you’re frustrated or angry).
I’m not sure it’s possible to be mindful every single second of the day (because: human), but there are practices you can incorporate so you’re more present more often. Here are a few:
- Do one thing at a time (as much as possible).
- Pause and take deep breaths, focusing on your inhales and exhales.
- Take a moment to observe your surroundings with your 5 senses.
- When having a conversation, listen as the other person is talking (instead of coming up with your reply while they’re still talking).
- Practice mindful eating: Focus only on eating. Notice how your food smells, the temperature, the taste and texture. Chew slowly and really savor what you’re eating.
- Scan your body. Become aware of any sensations you feel, notice how you’re breathing, see if you’re tense anywhere, notice how you feel emotionally.
I hope this quick overview will help you get started with your practice in being more present! If it does (or if you want to share a comment or have a question), please reach out to me here — I’d love to hear from you!
Also, for more (and exclusive!) resources for finding your calm, learn how you can be part of our new community here: Black Mom Calm Patreon.