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Being Mindful in May
Author: Sue Mazur
This month is ‘Mindful in May Month’, and millions worldwide are focusing on the benefits of practising mindfulness. So what is it, and how might it benefit you? In this article, we share what mindfulness is, how it might benefit you, 8 mindful meditations (including two free guided ones), and give you a gift of FREE Powerful Daily Affirmations and FREE Affirmation Creation Worksheet that you can use to empower and transform your life. Let’s work together to build a mindful world and share this article to empower and invite others to join you.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation where you focus on being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. It brings awareness to how your mind, body, and soul feels, aches and desires. It helps to reduce stress and get in touch with the authentic you where you pivot from your feelings rather than your emotions.
It is often hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Spending too much time in our intellect planning, problem-solving, or juggling negative thinking and random thoughts can be draining. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can also make you more likely to experience stress, the roller-coaster of emotions, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness can help you direct your attention away from this thinking to be able to make choices and engage with the world around you from a balanced perspective.
I Am, I Calm, I Feel, I Choose, and I Solve
Practising mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, affirmations and other practices that relax the body and mind. It creates a space and awareness of your feelings and then uses your intellect to understand, solve or achieve – whether that is a niggle, a block, or simply a desire for greater joy or fulfilment. Mindfulness helps you self-regulate, which is a cornerstone skill for all development and essential for social, emotional, academic, and life success. It brings together conscious and unconscious processes that help you regulate your thoughts, feelings, and actions to achieve a goal. The five steps it takes you through are: I Am, I Calm, I Feel, I Choose, and I Solve.
If you want to know more about the difference between feelings and emotions, check out our Blog ‘How To Improve Your Mental Health – 7 Ways”, which talks in-depth about the difference, provides analogies to understand and is a key to living a fulfilling and successful life. You will love it!
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Mindfulness meditation has been studied in many clinical trials. The overall evidence supports the effectiveness of meditation to deliver numerous benefits and assisting with various conditions, including:-
When, Where and How of Mindfulness Exercises
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, from simple exercises that you can do anywhere and anytime to more structured mindfulness exercises such as guided meditations, body scan meditations or sitting meditations where you will need to set aside time when you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions.
Aim to practice mindfulness every day for about six months. Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.
Below are some suggestions to start or enhance your practices, together with an invaluable ‘Next Step’.
1. Free Guided Energy Meditations:
Living Illumination offers free energy meditation that has proven much needed and exceptionally popular. They are easy to join effortlessly as they are online and held regularly. Beautiful moments in your week where you will find a moment of peace, recharge your energy and gather insights to drive your life to success. They are open to the public, who will benefit immensely from the tranquillity of the sessions. And yes, they are free. You can book, share and invite by using the below link:
When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take three deep breaths and close your eyes. Focusing on the breath as it moves in and out of your body for even a minute can help. If your mind wanders or you can’t relax, try counting. Breathe in to the count of four, hold to the count of four, breath out to the count of four and repeat until you feel your body relax. Research other methods and practices, like yoga, that include breathwork.
Take off those earbuds or stop watching that screen if you are at a gym and use at least a part of your exercise session as training in mindful movement. Focus totally on your breathing and posture and embrace the present moment, a fundamental principle of meditation. As you concentrate on controlling your breath, where your feet are landing, and counting your steps, this steady focus marries mindfulness and movement together.
4. Body Scan Meditation.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath. Pay full attention and keep your mind anchored in the present as you maintain awareness of thoughts and sensations.
6. Walking Mediation.
Find a quiet place 3-10 metres in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.
7. Meditation in Motion.
This centuries-old practice uses the process of locomotion as the meditation focus, yoga, qigong, and tai chi are probably the best-known forms of mindful movement meditation popular in the west. Many sources, such as the Harvard Medical School, tout the myriad advantages of these practices.
8. Mindful Cleaning.
Last but certainly not least is the traditional Zen meditation of mindful cleaning – practised both indoors and out. You may have seen Japanese monks raking leaves or sweeping the floor with great purpose and focus, or an artist that pours their heart and soul into a project where they get lost in the moment. As with the other practices mentioned above, mindful cleaning gives you plenty of opportunity to focus, count, breathe and be fully present as you go about your task (and you get a clean home as a bonus).
Your Next Step – Activate Your Affirmations with Your Free Downloads
An Affirmation is a statement that you meditate on of something that you manifest to be true in your life. Affirmations are empowering statements that immediately change thought patterns from negative to positive – by changing your concepts (beliefs or ideas) about yourself and your relationship with the universe.
Those who use structured daily affirmations that align with their values and goals (yes, there is a system to do this effectively) swear by the power of affirmations in improving their mindset and performance. If you would like to read more about turning ‘ho-hum’ affirmations into powerful Life-Affirming Affirmations that create real change, click here:
Your Free Gift – We Are Delighted to Offer These
We are delighted to introduce our FREE Powerful Daily Affirmations and FREE Affirmation Creation Worksheet that you can use to empower and transform your life! There is also a set of beautiful wallpapers or printable cards to carry or place in your environment as tangible reminders of the new energy and future you are inviting into your life. Click here to access these brilliant free resources.
What can you do now?
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