Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this post, let’s explore how we can get back on track when we realize that we’re not being mindful. If you’re distracted or experiencing stress, you’re not fully present and missing out on the best of what life has to offer.
I know it’s not always easy to get back to being mindful. My job stress has been off the charts lately. My current area of opportunity to focus on is mindful eating. So, my plan is to not come home after work and immediately start snacking on whatever I might find. Instead, I’m filling a big glass with ice water and taking the time to drink it slowly before I do anything else.
One of the most helpful tools to help you be more mindful is to pay attention to your breathing. Here’s a great five-minute meditation from Diana Winston, Director of the Mindfulness Center, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center:
You can access this meditation and other great resources at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society at https://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/recordings .
Although it may not seem easy at first to do the breathing meditation, over time it will become more and more comfortable. If you feel as if you’re losing track of where you are in the meditation, without making any judgment about yourself or your ability to be mindful, simply return to paying attention to your breath. Connect with yourself again and with your experience in the moment.
Another technique that you may find helpful is to pay attention to the sounds you hear. In these long spring days, my front porch provides a front row seat to many birds flitting to and from trees and rooftops as they sing.
Over time, I have found a lot of value in writing in a composition book with a colorful pen to reflect on my experiences. Sometimes just capturing the words that come to me is just what I need to be able to step back and gain perspective. Sometimes, I can also clarify exactly what has me disconnected from myself and from that, get back to being more mindful.
Take time to explore these simple activities and see what you notice afterwards. You may find that your breathing has slowed and become deeper. You may feel more grounded and in balance. You may feel more connected with yourself, and enjoy how that feels.
Mindfulness Program Starts in July
In July, I’ll be reflecting on the experience of working through the program in “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.” If you’d like to join me, you can borrow a copy of the book from a library or purchase a copy.
If you have any feedback or questions, please either comment here or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I’ll be back in touch soon with more resources on mindfulness, social and emotional learning, and emotional intelligence. Have a great week!