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Switch off the stress - take a mindful moment

Mindfulness can be miraculous, pulling us out of the stresses of the everyday.

Instead of constantly scurrying along on the hamster wheel of worry, we can use mindfulness to give ourselves a break. A moment in which to step back, take a pause, breathe.

By the simple act of being here, now, we can experience those tiny moments of joy that stitch themselves together to create a rich life.

Try this short experiment.

Breath Awareness

1. Sit, still, for a few moments.

2. Bring your full awareness to your breath, the magical process of breathing in and breathing out.

3. Notice the sensation of the air entering in through the nostrils – how does it feel?

4. Notice the sensation of the air leaving the nostrils – how does it feel?

5. Can you notice a difference between the two sensations? You don’t have to name the difference, simply observe.

Continue the experiment for 10 breaths, then release your focus from the breath.

Notice how you feel.

Being ‘in the moment’

For that short period of time, your awareness was entirely focused on the present moment. You were mindful of your breath, paying full attention to the process of breathing in and breathing out.

This is mindfulness.

Not running away, but being fully present in the moment, Not thinking about things that we cannot change, but focused on the breath. Not escaping into another world, but being completely present in this world. Now.

Self reliance

Knowing that we have this ability, within ourselves, to create a positive pause within the maelstrom of life, can be immeasurably comforting. No need to rely on something outside of ourselves, we have it all at our fingertips.

Life can sometimes seem overwhelming, our thoughts whirring in ever-increasing spirals. We lock onto one negative thought, that leads to another, and another, and another. Before we know where we are, our worst fears are playing out in our mind as if they are reality, as if they are the only possible route that life can take. We become downhearted, not by reality but by a projected, imagined reality.

Whenever life seems overwhelming, our thoughts and emotions spiralling out of control, we can use this developed skill of mindfulness to help to bring us back to he here and the now, the real world rather than the imagined world.

Here and now, one breath at a time.

Practice improves performance

Maybe this short experiment was your first experience of mindfulness. As with all things, practice improves our abilities. If your mind wandered, or you caught yourself wondering what the purpose of the experiment was, try it again.

And again.

And again.



Michelle Helstrip

Founder - Druva Yoga Therapy & Wellbeing


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