mindfulness & flowThe more studies I read about mindfulness, the more I’m convinced of the benefits:

  • Improved stress management
  • Lower levels of anxiety
  • Mood improvement
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved attention & concentration
  • Sharpened focus
  • Better sleep

So what is mindfulness and how do you practice it?  In a nutshell, take some deep breaths and notice how you’re feeling.  Try to screen out distractions for a few minutes.  If you notice tight or clenched muscles, gently stretch or reposition to get rid of the tension.

For several free guided mindfulness meditations, check out the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (you can listen online or download the podcasts to iTunes).  For a smartphone app with instructional videos and over 300 mindfulness meditations (free for the first 10 days), you may like getsomeheadspace.com or search for the Headspace app.  You may also be interested in Practice Mindfulness with Grounding Exercise.

To practice mindfulness while you’re working on a task (also referred to as “flow”), don’t allow yourself to multitask or think about other things–focus only on the task at hand.  Sometimes it helps to use “verbal mediation” while you’re learning task-oriented mindfulness–talk yourself through the task at hand, as if you are narrating.

Just like exercise, mindfulness is free & effective!  All it takes is setting aside the time.

Your Daily Shoring assignment for today is to devote at least a few minutes to sitting quietly and taking some deep breaths.  If you’re up for more of a challenge, look into one of the resources listed above to learn more and/or practice a 10 minute mindfulness meditation.

And don’t forget–if you’re working through the Daily Shoring 90 Day Series, you’re in your last week!  If you want to repeat the series, leave a comment and let me know!

If you want to read more about mindfulness, here’s a great overview from psychcentral.com.  If you’ve practiced mindfulness before, please share the techniques that worked for you!