06-21-2017 08:42 PM
A question I get asked a lot is "how can I cultivate mindfulness in my life?'
There are many ways of doing this.
When people are new to the idea and want to introduce it into their lives, then small periods of mindfulness meditation can be a great starting point. There are lots of great apps, like Smiling Mind and Headspace that can guide you through a 10 or 30 daysmindfulness meditation challenge, which can help you become acquainted with the process. The advantage of beginning with a more formal practice, such as meditation, is that it offers you a structured opportunity to practice what can be a tricky and unfamiliar process.
Maintaining present moment awareness without judgment is an unfamiliar process that often brings up a degree of discomfort, especially initially. Taking time out from your day, free from other demands or commitments, can offer you the space to get acquainted with the process.
Meditation is not the only way practice mindfulness or to weave it into your life. Any activity can be used as an opportunity to stay connected and engaged with the present moment. Some popular activities where people practice mindfulness include eating, walking and cleaning. These fairly simple day to day tasks are often times when our attention drifts, and therefore can be a great opportunity to practice mindful presence. These activities are also very sensory – so you can use taste, touch, smell, sight and sound as anchor points to focus your attention back to when your mind wanders.
06-21-2017 08:42 PM
So @Emily_May what about parents who are supporting young people managing really scary things like thoughts of suicide or non-suicidal self injury, how and when can they use mindfulness?
06-21-2017 08:43 PM
06-21-2017 08:44 PM
Yes @taokat - modelling is so important. But I guess it's really about the kind of person we are when we engage with young people. Being reactive, distant or self occupied creates disconnection. Being present, responsive and attuned creates connection - and connection builds meaningful and trusting relationships, which are what really matters to young people
06-21-2017 08:46 PM
I like the walking meditation approach @taziness I started practising mindfulness when driving. Turned the music off and started being aware of my current actions.
it was actually eye opening to realise how much driving I had done with very little of my brain actually focusing on the action.
06-21-2017 08:47 PM
This is an important question @Ngaio-RO
When it comes to scary and, at times, life threatening things mindfulness is incredibly important. Being aware, present and calm allows an approach that is responsive and considered. Being mindful allows us to tune into the severity of the situation and act accordingly. Young people in such situations can feel isolated and distressed and need adults as a safe harbour and reassuring voice to help them navigate the turmoil.
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