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Mindfulness: The Path to Freedom

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

As a wise person once said, “Mindfulness is the path to freedom.” How many of us really live in the present moment? Learning to live in the present moment can be difficult. We live worried about the future, coping with guilt, and overwhelmed by the past. We can do nothing about the past and worrying about the future only releases stress hormones and does nothing healthful so be mindful and relax.

The solution? Wake up to your life! Pay attention to your life. Monitor your inner and outer life (your experiences and environment). Use mindfulness skills in everyday life by beginning with your breath. Become aware of your inhale and exhale. Focus on taking deep diaphragmatic breaths to relax and refresh. Experience the awareness of the oxygen in your body and mind. Be mindful of your body; so you feel stress or pain in your body, hunger, heat, cold? Be aware of your emotions (worry, anger, fear, love, attachment). Wake up to your senses: sounds, smells, tastes, sight, touch. Develop mindfulness: breathing, eating, walking, thoughts.

Be mindful of your body as well. Do you feel stress or pain in your body? Are you hungry, hot, or cold? Be aware of your emotions such as feelings of worry, anger, fear, love, or attachment. Ask yourself mindful questions: What am I feeling right now? What am I doing right now? Wake up your senses, too. Pay attention to sounds, smells, tastes, sights, and touch. Develop other mindful practices as well such as mindful walking.

Lastly, remember the three parts of mindfulness: awareness, the ability to stay present in the moment, and acceptance of your experiences.


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