A-Z Guide to Transgender TerminologyOctober 1, 2015
4 Journal Prompts for Personal GrowthOctober 21, 2015
3 Mindfulness Techniques to Live in the Moment
Mindfulness is the act of being aware of only the present moment and experiencing the thoughts, feelings, and sensations without assigning meaning or judgement. We are so often running full speed from one task or activity to the next. Mindfulness techniques allow for mental spaciousness and a calm awareness within the day and can be especially effective for dealing with upsetting situations and even treating anxiety and depression. Use the following mindfulness techniques to create a healthier, happier you.
- Five Mindful Breaths
Stop and become aware of the fact that you are breathing. Bring your attention to the feeling of the breath coming into and then leaving the body. Feel your rib cage or belly expanding and deflating as you inhale and exhale, the sensation of the air passing in and out through the nostrils, or your shoulders rising and falling with each breath. Your mind will wander, and that’s okay. Acknowledge the thoughts or feelings that arise, and then guide your attention back to the sensations of breathing. Do this for five full breaths.
- Body Scan
Mentally scan through your body from head to toe and everything in between. Note your posture and any physical contact you’re making to the world around you (e.g., your feet on the floor, sit bones on a chair, the air against exposed skin). Pay attention to your present thoughts and feelings without judging or trying to change them. Acknowledge any areas of tightness or soreness, perhaps they might be from holding these feelings, or not. Breathe into any tight area, and on the exhale try to let go of the feeling of discomfort.
- Mindful Eating
Bring awareness to the sensory experience of eating an item of food. Take a full breath before you begin, and then pay attention all five senses. First, notice the way the food looks, such as the color, size, and shape. Next smell the food, and regard the scent of it. Third, feel the texture of the food in your hands. Take a bite or put it in your mouth. Perhaps there is also sound from biting into it or chewing. Also notice the way it feels on your tongue. Lastly, pay attention to the taste of the food before you swallow.
Anyone can do these anywhere, anytime, for free and reap the mental, emotional, and physical benefits. As written in The Mindful Way through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, “When we stop trying to force pleasant feelings, they are freer to emerge on their own. When we stop trying to resist unpleasant feelings, we may find that they can drift away by themselves. When we stop trying to make something happen, a whole world of fresh and unanticipated experiences may become accessible to us.” Instead of being pulled around by thoughts and feelings, we can live in the present moment with our full attention.
The counsellors at Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services use a variety of evidence based, therapeutic approaches when treating patients to best suit each individual’s needs. Our clinicians can incorporate mindfulness techniques and tools into therapy sessions and plans. OCCS also offers a workshop on Mindfulness teaching its benefits and its real life applicability. Please contact us to learn more about our counselling services and to learn more about this workshop.
Our mindfulness workshop can be scheduled at a time and place that suits you, or we can provide a boardroom upon request. This workshop is an excellent opportunity for business’s to teach employees and staff about mindfulness techniques and ways to mitigate burnout.
Thi article was written by:
Nicole Ripley, BA Psyc, M.Couns
Registered Clinical Counsellor (#10535)
Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services