Mindfulness is less of doing and more about being. Being is about a state of awareness, not an action.

Many of my coaching clients ask me how to be more mindful in their lives and in raising their children and how they can create a practice for themselves. There are so many important benefits of mindfulness practices.

While mindfulness has roots in the Buddhist religion, America has adopted it as a state of awareness. Not only has mindfulness played a large thought in being conscious in the moment, but it has also infiltrated mainstream medicine. According to the Harvard Medical School, “practicing mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors,” (Positive, n.d.).

I would love to share some ways that you can also develop your own simple practice, improving your overall health and well-being. Here are a few simple steps that I have shared with my clients and my friends. You can follow these steps to create more mindfulness in your everyday life.

The first step is to recognize when you are not aware or lacking mindfulness. For example, did you yell and overreact with your child or spouse, due to your own stressful state? Were you aware of what was going on inside you as you were yelling? This is where our attention during these times comes into play. If we are just going through the motions of life without awareness, we are definitely not practicing the art of mindfulness. When we are more present and mindful, our actions and reactions come from a more conscious place. Asking yourself the following questions can be helpful: where is my attention in the present moment? What is this moment about for me? Am I fully present in this moment or am I thinking about a different zone – the past or the future?

The second step in learning the art of mindfulness is to stop and take a deep breath. This process helps to reset yourself. It is not a solution, but rather, a process. When you take a deep breath, it helps to create a pause between yourself and what is happening around you. In many instances, these deeps breaths can help bring more awareness to the situation that is in front of you and you can acknowledge where your mind truly is. This can be an enormous benefit in the way we react at that time. It is the difference between reacting mindfully and consciously or just on autopilot.

Lastly, as you move forward in your own practice, try to focus on what brings calm to you during emotional moments, as well as what helps you to stay present in those moments. Reflection is something I always recommend to help us learn what has worked and what has not worked for us. As you reflect on your day, be sure to ask yourself what you appreciated in your own mindfulness practice and how it served you.

This is the only moment we have. Creating a sense of pause, reset or awareness into our daily lives can help us be more present in each situation in our lives and to also avoid our emotional response before it gets the better of us. Not only does this help us to be more peaceful, but it also sets a beautiful example and practices for our children to see and perhaps use these skills to overcome their own stress.

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Positive Psychology: Harnessing the power of happiness, mindfulness, and inner strength. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/special-healthreports/PositivePsychology.

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