What does being “mindful” mean to you? Heck, some of you might just be questioning what it means in general. Being “mindful” isn’t something that comes natural to many of us in the crazy hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives. For a little background, “mindfulness” and “being mindful” is simply about being in the present moment and being fully aware of yourself and your surroundings. I looked up the exact definition and I really, really love this:
mind·ful·ness “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
It seems like it would just be something that would come second nature to us, but at times it can be extremely challenging to be completely mindful. It may not be the easiest task, but it’s truly an important skill to develop. Focusing on mindfulness and being more present can help you to manage life’s stressors better and also help to decrease blood pressure, pain and anxiety.
Deep Breathing: Being mindful of the breath I’m taking in and the breath I’m putting out at various moments throughout the day helps to make me feel more calm, more patient, and in turn more mindful. There’s nothing that brings me back into the moment in a stressful situation than taking some deep cleansing breaths. Why do you think we “sigh” when we’re stressed or frustrated? Its like our body’s way of telling us to take a deep breath and calm down!
Meditation: I first started meditating when we were going through fertility treatments. So much of infertility is stressful and the unknown can just drive you crazy. It makes it even harder when you know that stress isn’t great for fertility and the treatments and not getting pregnant stress you out! It’s a vicious cycle. Laying down, focusing on my breathing and letting thoughts just come and go is the most relaxing thing you’ll ever experience. Sometimes I become so relaxed while meditating that I fall asleep for a few minutes!
Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker: Yes, you read that right. There’s a little device that can actually help you to monitor your breathing, your activity level and your mindfulness! I’ve been using this little gem for about 2 weeks now and have loved not only tracking the amount of steps I take, but seeing how “calm” or “tense” I’ve been throughout the day. The device connects to an app on your phone and uploads your stats directly to the app. It really focuses on your breathing patterns and considers periods of erratic breathing to be a “tense” period of time in your day. The app can also alert you during those moments to remind you to practice deep breathing or meditation so you can regulate your respirations and become more relaxed.
Needless to say, if you haven’t guessed it already, I’ve been practicing the art of mindfulness in this current pregnancy of mine. I’ve found that the three tips I outlined above, deep breathing, meditation and utilizing the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker has helped tremendously with my anxiety in this pregnancy and as the baby’s due date approaches, I keep getting more and more anxious for all of the changes that are headed our way. I’m so thankful to have this little mindfulness trainer to help remind me to relax at the times I need it the most!
How do you practice the art of mindfulness?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.