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Mindfulness Matters

Aliyah Bey, Wellness Manager with Mandela Partners shares monthly wellness tips with the East Bay Community.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being that allows you to bring attentiveness to your physical being, environment, thoughts, and emotions. Mindfulness increases your ability to make controlled, conscious, and thoughtful decisions.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness Improves well-being. By increasing your capacity for mindfulness, you increase your self-awareness capabilities and learn emotional regulation, compassion for yourself and others, and how to face adversity confidently.

Mindfulness enhances physical health. Mindfulness can help with the following: stress relief, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep, and alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties.

Ways to Practice Mindfulness

1.) Body Scan

The Body Scan is a mindfulness meditation practice involving scanning your body for anything unordinary. It can help you feel more connected to your physical and emotional self. Remember, mindfulness does not have to occur just in the meditative stance; it can transpire anywhere and anytime.

Body Scan Meditation Steps:Source (Body scan meditation: 7 benefits and how it works, 2021)

  • Sit in a comfortable position. You can sit in a chair or lie down.

  • Breathe deeply and intentionally. Let your breath slow down as you breathe into your belly.

  • Do not let your shoulders go up and down with your breath. Instead, allow your belly to expand and contract. Imagine a balloon in your belly inflating with each inhale and deflating with each exhale.

  • Begin by bringing awareness to your body.

  • Start from your feet, moving up towards your head, or do it from head to toe if you would like.

  • At each body part, notice what you feel there.

  • If you feel pain, accept your feelings toward the pain, and breathe through it. Move to the following body part when you are ready.

  • Continue scanning through your entire body.

  • Pay attention to where you are holding tension, areas of pain, pressure, or tightness.

2.) Journaling

Journaling stimulates mindfulness while helping you stay present and evaluate your emotions, experience, and well-being.

Seven Journal Prompts to Improve Mindfulness:

1.) At this moment, I feel ...

2.) I feel my best when I ...

3.) I feel connected to ...

4.) When I ... I feel ...

5.) My body feels nourished when I ...

6.) My mind feels nourished when I ...

7.) My spirit feels nourished when I ...

Eat Mindfully

Mindful eating is being aware of the food and drinks you put into your body. Mindful eating doesn't encourage strict diets or restrictions on food, but it promotes understanding the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness.

Embrace Movement and Know When to Rest

Know when to slow down, take a break, increase movement, or change your routine entirely. If you start feeling burned out, unmotivated, achy, or bored, it is usually time for a break by the time you notice these signs.

Active Rest Ideas:

  • Read a book

  • Take a bath

  • Listen to music

  • Stretch your muscles

Take Your Time with Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness requires you to exercise vulnerability and remove expectations of what may come out of the practice. You can set intentions and fail, but with perseverance and patience, all things are possible.Take your time and welcome every experience!

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