His testimony of what he is doing to become mindful of his attitude and choices has helped him progress and stay sober. He has one year of sobriety.
Two weeks ago, I gave everyone handouts on mindfulness.
A little snapshot of what mindfulness is and what it can do for you.
Tonight, that someone shared they are using it and it is working for them: their anxiety for the future is reduced, they have been facing issues and feeling calmer, and looking at work in a different manner.
Grounding techniques are used to help people find a place of reference.
For instance, putting your feet on the floor or ground outside is one way to feel connected and solid.
Anchoring and grounding are ways to help you move from “frantic everything is out of control” to control where you are in the present moment.
The first step is to feel yourself, solid on the ground, comfortable and stable.
The second step is to find a focal point. For a few breaths, you clear out anything on your mind and zero in on something, which catches your eye.
Notice the color, the positives about it, and how it makes you feel. For instance, if you see a flower, you can look at it, see the yellow color, notice any bees or other creatures on it, the length and size of the bloom, and so on.
Take three more clearing breaths. Breathe in to a count of five and release to a count of five.
Now, you are ready for a body scan., the third step of the three minute mindfulness clearing. Close your eyes as you scan your body.
After the grounding helps to center you, begin scanning the body systems, starting with the feet, and moving up the legs, the back, the abdomen, the chest, arms, and the shoulders, up to the neck, and onto the top of your head.
These moments, give us the opportunity to check-in and notice what we feel.
Take another three clearing breaths for each section of the body, and noting whether you feel pain, aches, or no pain.
Be present, without judging the feelings. (Sometimes it feels weird to let go of judging the feelings, like “Sit here, dear pain in my foot, and let’s just be” instead of saying, “Oh my aching foot, it hurts so badly”).
It helps to gain a peaceful perspective. Even if it is for a few seconds of time.
Now, returning your gaze to the item, which captured your first attention, inhale on a count of five and then slowly exhale on a count of five. Repeat it a couple more times until you have a sense of relaxation.
I find five breaths tend to get me in a more relaxed state of mind.
The above mindfulness meditation is a three-minute body check to ground you, scan you, and then release the energy holding you back. We all have three minutes in our day to develop a portion of self-care.
Developing a pattern of mindfulness goes further than a one time practice. It takes time to create new ways to focus and shift paradigms. Breathing in and out, with controlling the air flow is not something people readily want to do, or notice they don’t do.
Paying attention to our breathing is what matters when we do any mindfulness meditation.
I have found taking the time to practice the 3 minutes prepared me to move forward and ease into more time, making my mindfulness routine about fifteen minutes. It is my nightly check in with my body and a time I can let worries and stresses go so my brain can relax and begin to edit the day’s experiences with clarity instead of mind stress.
Tonight, I was reminded of what my job brings to me: hope.
People, no matter what age they are, can learn new ways to cope in life, new ways to see life as a gift and to embrace the present moment.
It means, in a small way, someone heard something shared in the group and they are beginning the ripple effect outside of the group.
As a matter of fact, they see their friends getting all uptight and they shared the ‘catching’ the spark talk with them.
By using the tools provided to us, like a simple 3-minute mindfulness check, we can become grounded, believe in ourselves, and have empathy toward our body. Now, that’s something we can all use.
~Just a thought by Pamela
Previously published on Medium.com.
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