Often times we find ourselves running on autopilot. Our thoughts, actions and breathing are all done without consideration. When we fail to recognize and address our current thoughts, situations and emotions, we can let ourselves become overwhelmed by them.
Mindfulness is a skill that allows us to be present, dealing with our emotions and thoughts without judgment. Mastering this skill takes practice but is essential in improving our lives and making healthier decisions. Here are some beginning techniques to becoming more mindful:
- Take long, slow, comfortable breaths. Focus on each breath. Mindful breathing allows us to let go of distracting thoughts, remain focused and become relaxed.
- Pay attention to how our emotions are making us react to situations. When our emotions feel overwhelming: Take long, slow breaths, and concentrate on the facts of the situation rather than our emotions.
- When we are completing a task it is important to do so mindfully. Pay attention to the texture of our foods and our strides while we walk. When listening to someone, focus on the conversation and do so without judgment.
Becoming more aware of our present emotions, thoughts and physical well-being allows us to reduce anxiety and stress. Observing our mood and thoughts will let us consciously make healthier choices that are not based on negative emotions.