This time of year always brings feelings of joy – seeing the fall colours, celebrating with family and friends at Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas. We also may be thinking of the upcoming winter months and how we will be limited in getting outdoors and/or visiting others due to inclement weather. It is always important to search for different ways to stay positive, happy and stress-free in the winter months, especially.
Mindfulness coach Diane Yeo shares some ways in which we can practice being mindful. She describes our thoughts as being very powerful and that “when we start to calm the mind with meditation and a mindfulness practice, the body follows suit and is able to release stress from the nervous system. The body starts to calm down and feel safe.”
Diane offers some tips to begin this process:
- Set your intention to observe your thinking during the day. Be curious.
- Whenever you realize you are focused on a stress-filled thought or worried about the future…STOP.
- Notice the thought. Don’t judge it or push it away.
- Say to yourself, “That’s interesting my mind is thinking that.”
- Begin to focus on your breath.
- Take some nice long deep breaths in and out. Inhale and think “I am at peace,” then exhale and think “I am calm” or “I am safe.” The body likes to know it is safe.
Taking time every day to meditate will clear built-up stress in your nervous system, calm the mind and bring more happiness into your day and life. Even just five minutes can help. Like anything, it takes practice. For more information on this topic or to read more about Diane’s perspective on mindfulness, go to www.dianeyeo.com.
Submitted by Social Work Staff at McCormick Home.