6 Mindful steps to Keep the Body and Mind Relaxed

Mindfulness is a practice that allows us to pay attention to being in the “present moment.” This type of practice can be helpful especially for many who can’t seem to stop stressing about past and present problems. Maybe it’s the worry about an ongoing fight between you and your partner… or could it be the frustration of your job. The point is that our minds are constantly working and are often in a state of overthinking. If we do not train our minds to take a pause from the everyday stress, our bodies will then become reactive, potentially creating anxiety, depression or chronic health illness.

Here are 6 steps you can take to give your body and mind the care that it needs:

1. Practice the “Five Senses” Exercise

This exercise will allow you to use your 5 senses as a way of becoming more present and aware. It can also serve as a distraction when unpleasant emotions such anger and upset, arise. Stop what you are doing for a few minutes and follow below:

Take notice of...

5 things you can see,

4 things you can feel

3 things can you hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste.

2. Body Scan
Close your eyes and notice what is happening to your body. Pay attention to your breathing. Do you hear the sound of your inhalation? What about the sound as you exhale? Notice places in your body that have areas of tension, stress, and tightness. Breathe into those areas and use calming words such as “I feel at peace,” “I am in control of my feelings” to guide you into more of a calm state.

3. The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

Take a deep breath in through your mouth for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeat this for another 2 – 3 cycles. This simple 4,7,8 count is a natural tranquilizer and if done regularly, can help to relax the nervous system.

4. Mindful Listening
When you are having interaction with another person, be fully present with that individual. Do not allow any judgements or criticisms to take over. Listen attentively to the person speaking rather than paying attention to simply what is in your head.

5- Experiencing Nature

As you go about your day, pay attention to your surroundings. If you are outside, use your senses to bring awareness and focus to what’s around you. Look at the colors of the leaves, hear the birds, feel the breeze, look up at the blue calming sky. These observations will help to put your mind at a more relaxing and calm state.

6- Practice Stillness

With the never-ending demands of work and personal life, we seem to often be in a rush. We hurry to the supermarket, we rush to cook, we speak quickly because there’s not enough time to give too much detail. Get into the habit of slowing down. As you walk, feel your feet on the ground and slow down a bit. When you speak, take breaths in between so conversations are enjoyed. If your partner talks, stop and listen. Take time to sit and to be in a quiet space. For some, stillness may mean simply closing your eyes and breathing or even picking up a book to read. With stillness, you are aware, focused and reflective of yourself and the world around you.

Candida Diaz
Oct 27, 2018

To learn more information about mindfulness practices, call Candida Diaz with Face to Face Counseling and Psychotherapy @ 917-834-6211, email cdiaz@facetofacecp.com

Candida Diaz