Mindfulness #2

“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”

Najwa Zebian

Mindfulness has been a tool that I have used for many years, and it has been very beneficial when things aren’t going so well in my life.

For those who know me, I love to read, and my collection of mindfulness books is possibly the largest in my library.  I know that mindfulness is beneficial for a variety of ailments, illnesses and also performance and learning.

Mindfulness needs to be practiced daily and 30 minutes per day is the required amount.  What I love about mindfulness is that you can do a variety of exercises in shorter bursts and that they all add up. 

Over the years, I have attended many mindfulness training sessions and have also assisted in presenting mindfulness exercises in groups.  Learning new techniques is always exciting and brings new skills to my mindfulness toolbox. 

One that has really intrigued my interest is a mindfulness of breath activity.  Using a Hoberman sphere (explosion ball) whilst doing this exercise is a lovely way of visualising the lungs.  Breathing in through the nose for a count of 4 seconds (whilst expanding the sphere) then breathing out in a controlled breath for the count of 6 seconds (sphere contracting) either through the nose or through your mouth.

 Whilst I have always known that mindfulness is a great tool, I watched a Ted Talk recently in which a Clinical Psychologist advised that mindfulness of breath is the only way that we can control what is happening in our body.  This 4/6 technique actually tells the brain that all is well and if you did this controlled breathing for a period of time – your body and mind will calm down.

Another breathing exercise technique is to imagine a triangle.  Whilst tracing along one side of the triangle – breath in, breath out for the other two sides.  

A reminder that we all need to practice mindfulness and that the benefits are outstanding, both in this moment and in moments of stress.