At the start of the year, most people around the U.S. were still part of our culture’s “rise and grind” mentality where schedules were busy and productivity was high. Since then, the steady spread of the novel Coronavirus has changed what normal means for everyone. Between schools closing, jobs being terminated, companies going remote, and restrictions being placed on how we are allowed to interact with others, the added stress and anxiety can understandably make you feel tired and worn out.
After being suddenly pulled from your normal routine and having to navigate a different situation both at work and at home, it’s normal to want to recenter yourself. But how?
What Is Mindfulness for Beginners?
If you’re curious about mindfulness but aren’t quite sure about what it means, you’ve come to the right place. The concept of mindfulness is simple: it is the moment-by-moment awareness of your feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, and accepting these thoughts and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness is a gentle, peaceful approach to rediscovering yourself.
If you’re curious about starting your practice, and how to get started, we’ll help you ease into mindfulness in a way that fits your busy schedule.
Between work, family, responsibilities, and other stressors during this time, it’s easy for the thinking mind to take over and to lose touch with the body, each other, and with your surroundings. Losing that sense of what’s going on within you and around you may not seem like a big deal, but recent studies have shown that the impact of practicing mindfulness to bring these elements back into alignment can do wonders for daily psychological well-being.
Kickstart your mindfulness practice by registering for a live, interactive Mindful Daily led by a certified, expert mindfulness teacher!
Mindfulness 101: How to Start Practicing Mindfulness
It may surprise you to learn that you only need two things to prepare yourself for mindfulness:
- An open mind
- A few task-free minutes
It may also surprise you to learn that beginning a mindfulness practice isn’t about turning your thinking or your emotions off. This is what our minds do! Mindfulness exercises help you become more aware of your present moment experience, including your thoughts and feelings, with openness and curiosity. It helps you see things as they are and not resist what may be difficult or uncomfortable. If these principles don’t seem natural to you right now, that’s okay, your mindfulness muscle will slowly build strength over time.
Getting started takes just a few moments! Start with our How Do I Get Started on-demand content!
This is easier said than done as the “new normal” for many of us involves a lot of scheduling and responsibilities, but many of us don’t allow ourselves the calm and peace that can be found with simply slowing down. In mindfulness terms, this means inviting your mind and body to gently reconnect with each other in a slower rhythm, and this is often achieved by getting back in touch with your senses.
We like to ask the question, “What’s on the other side if you don’t rush?” For example, if you don’t scurry to your laptop to get your work day started right away and instead take a moment to stand outside, can you feel the early morning sunshine on your face? Does that natural warmth bring a sense of happiness and hope? Taking those few minutes to channel one of your senses can make a difference in your day and also help you ease into mindfulness.
You may be thinking, “Okay, I’m here. I’m present” but being in a room and being present can be two very different things. When you’re having a stressful day at your desk, your body may be physically at your desk, but your mind may be hurtling down rabbit holes of racing, anxious thoughts that dominate your experience.
Beginning mindfulness is a great tool to bring yourself back into the present moment by using your mind to refocus your attention on your body – how it feels, what it needs right now, and picking up on sensations, impulses, intuitions, and impulses.
The Benefits of Beginning Mindfulness
If you’re ready to start recentering yourself so you can be more fully present for whatever your new normal looks like right now, integrating these small mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help ease your body and mind into a direction of peaceful reunification.
Ready to get started? Try these Guided Mindfulness Practices!