It isn’t easy for some of us to practice being mindful when there are so many distractions around us , but the benefits make us happier and healthier people.
As School Counsellors we need to practice being mindful in order to fully model the benefits and to teach others how to integrate mindfulness practices into their own lives.
There are many ways to practice being mindful. Don’t worry if you think you can’t … you can. There are so many opportunities in your daily life to actually put mindfulness into practice.
As Jon Kabat Zinn says “to bring one’s attention to the present moment-by focusing on our thoughts, feelings , bodily sensations and surroundings”.
We can become more mindful by :
awakening ourselves to new experiences
creating a place and a space for living in the the present moment
living fully with focus
learning to let go of the failures of the past and the worries of the future
letting go of perfectionism
living as best as we can in the moment
You can start today becoming mindful by finding a space in your day to free yourself of distractions. Here are 10 ways to start today.
- Start walking and notice all the beauty around you (leave your phone in your pocket if you want to take it with you). #walkalongwithme
- Create : play, paint, draw. Just do something that brings you flow.
- Listen to or play music just for the joy of it.
- Use an app like HEADSPACE or CALM ( which is free for educators) sign up now.
- Journal 5 things you are grateful for today.
- Find a quiet moment to just breathe.
- Make room for reflection.
- Find time to just BE STILL and do nothing.
- Take a picture … take time to enjoy it and the surroundings around you … pause and just breathe.
- Take time for YOU … take a break … eat your lunch (daily) or at least as often as you can … .get out of your office.
Mindfulness is not a quick fix. It is not an escape, but instead it is a way to create awareness around issues that need our attention. It provides us a way to explore our own thoughts and feelings no matter how difficult they may be. Approaching these thoughts and feelings with acceptance, curiosity, and emotional balance opens the door to mindfulness.
When we make time for meditation we are shutting down the fight or flight system which is good for students and their School Counsellors. The wonderful thing about using the HEADSPACE app is that it only takes 10 minutes and is a great way to start your day. The same goes for CALM you decide how long ,how often and the way you want to use it.
Now that you’ve made time for yourself to become more mindful you can help your students be more mindful as well. We know how much you like take aways so these resources are collated just for YOU.
Becoming mindful is a process. The more mindful you are the less likely you are to ruminate and be stressed to name a few. So be patient with yourself knowing that you too can become mindful in a world full of distractions.