September can be a busy time with school kicking off and extracurriculars starting up again for the year. I am here to help you bring a little peace and stillness into this eventful time.
Welcome to September! If you are like me you are probably wondering “how is it September already?” and “where did summer go?” September means back to school, regular routines, and all of the extra-curricular activities. When we get into busy times in our lives, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the things we have to do and all of the places we have to be. To help I would like to offer a mindfulness tip to help bring a little bit of peace, stillness, and mindfulness into your week.
So what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is “learning how to pay attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to things as they are” (Teasdale, Williams & Segal, 2014). It is learning how to slow down, paying attention to our breath, paying attention to what we are feeling in our body, noticing our thoughts, and consciously choosing to respond instead of react.
When we are busy it is easy to get wrapped up in what we are doing that we don’t realize that we are holding onto stress in our bodies. One of my favorite mindfulness practices in the mindful body scan. I invite you to take a few minutes out of your day to try out this practice.
Mindful Body Scan
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down for this practice. If you feel comfortable, I invite you to close your eyes and tune into your breathe.
Feel your breath as it enters your nose and fills your lungs…notice how your stomach feels as it rises and falls with each breath. Throughout this exercise continue to breath normally, fill your lungs, and breath into your belly button.
Now turn your attention to your body…notice if you are holding any stress or tension anywhere in your body. Know that you don’t have to do anything to change it right now, just notice how it feels in your body. Now bring your attention to your face…notice if you are holding any tension in your face…then, while continuing to breathe in and out relax your eyebrows….relax your jaw…relax to your whole head….next move down to your shoulders…notice where your shoulders are, can you drop them down a little and bring relaxation to your shoulders…relax your upper arms, then your lower arms…relax your hands…take a moment to just focus on your breath…feeling your breath as it moves in and out…now move your attention to your chest and notice if you are holding any tension there…then see if you can soften it, inviting in relaxation…next bring your attention to your stomach…notice what you are holding onto there…whatever you are holding onto is ok, just notice and become aware of it…with your next breath, see if you can slowly let go of any tension or stress, inviting relaxation into your stomach…with your next breath move down to your pelvis, hips, and buttocks, noticing and relaxing with each inhale and exhale…move down to your legs…first your upper legs…then your lower legs…noticing…bringing in relaxation…letting go of tension…breathing in and breathing out…lastly move down to your feet…drop them to the side…letting go…imagining your breath moving all the way down to your feet and slowly letting go of any tension or stress left in your feet. Now take one more big breath in all the way to your belly button…imagine as you exhale that all of the remaining stress or tension in your body is letting go. Take a few minutes to breathe, sit with this stillness, relax, and enjoy the peace that this practice has brought you.
Listen to this Practice
If you would prefer to listen to a guided mindful body scan you can check one out here.
Thank you and have a great week!
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, mindfulness practices, and how you can
incorporate it into your life you can book in with me at Evolve Counselling and Wellness.
Chandra Hare R. Psych (Provisional), M.Ed.