The Practice of Mindfulness

Mindful Gardening, Gardens, Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life

You can get hooked by your emotions. Your emotions can go up and down similar to an elevator that goes up and down from floor to floor during your emotionally packed busy days. Your elevator floors can be anger, fear, stress, depression, sadness etc. You can get hooked by these powerful emotions and live each day mindlessly, stressed, depressed and sometimes just overwhelmed. Learning to live mindfully means you make the choice to begin to wake up to your life and become aware of the kaleidoscope of emotions during your hectic days.

For example, you get stressed (or hooked) by your children, spouse or work each day. You may feel guilty, helpless or overwhelmed at the thought of changing your life. You may also judge yourself as bad, undisciplined or unable to change as your emotions continue to react to a world outside your control.

Your mind was designed to think and for many of us our minds act like run away trains with the many thoughts that continually race through our minds. So there is nothing wrong with you when your mind continues to process many thoughts constantly.

New science is showing us effective methods to slow the mind and calm the body.

What can you do to live mindfully?

Begin by simply recognizing your emotions as they come and go without judgment and without a response by your mind. Observe the nature of your mind without judgment with compassion, acceptance and surrender.

  • As the many thoughts race through your mind, “busy mind”, focus on your breath. Your breath is your constant anchor.
  • Inhale to the count of 4; 1-2-3-4.
  • Exhale to the count of 4; 1-2-3-4.
  • This process will create a sense of serenity, focus and control. Feelings come and go like the waves of the ocean. There is no right or wrong. The mind is just doing it’s job, thinking.
  • Return to your anchor, your breath with a smile.
  • Inhale to the count of 4; 1-2-3-4.
  • Exhale to the count of 4; 1-2-3-4.
  • Imagine your thoughts are clouds in the brilliant blue sky and as you breathe the clouds float away and you are in the midst of the beautiful clear blue sky.