We live in a time where the focus is rarely on the moment in which you are. You focus on the past or the future, whether in a span of a few minutes or several years. Social media adds to this by flashing “your memories” on the screen each and every day. You focus on the past either because it was painful and traumatic, making it hard to live for now. Or, it was a happier time and better than right now. You focus on the future either hoping it will be better than what is happening now or because you are building for the better. But every time, this forces you to miss out on all the good around you. That is where mindfulness for beginners can help.
To be mindful is to be present. Mindfulness for beginners can help aid in many pathologies people struggle with when the pull of the past and future prevent them from living in the now. Mindfulness has been shown to improve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improvement of sleep, help with gastrointestinal issues, and overall, improve mental health. Ask yourself, the last time you thought of something you should have said or should have done, did that help you feel better? Did it make you feel more anxious or frustrated? Learn more about how anxiety treatment in Brevard County, FL can support you
Mindfulness for Beginners Has Been A Buzzword, But What Is It?
Mindfulness has become a catchword recently, however, it is a practice that has been around in the Eastern part of the world for over 2,000 years. Even in the US it has been studied and practiced since the ‘70s.
For most people, the idea of living in the now is stressful in itself. Lack of time, feelings that it will prevent you from focusing on things you need to, lack of knowledge, and many other reasons lead people away from practicing mindful living. Fortunately, it does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. There are several exercises you can do to get you started on your way of living more mindfully, and that is what we will discuss today. Once you feel comfortable with these exercises, you can add, change, or remove, whatever suits you. You can spend more time engaged in the practices or less. It all depends on your needs.
People’s hyper-focus on the past and future is not exclusive. Odds are, you have experienced this with eating habits, jobs, or self-care routines. You believe past experiences will dictate new ones. Or you want the results but the time and commitment it might take is pushed to the side because life has so many directions to pull you. Whatever the reason, it is valid. So, it is good to take mindfulness slow. Do not expect, or even want, to be a master at meditation or deep breathing in a short time. Part of mindfulness for beginners is recognizing what sparks moments of anxiety or what drives you to be better. These things can become diluted or lost if you rush into mindfulness too quickly and while you may practice it, you reap a fraction of the benefit.
It is also worth noting if you have trauma in your past, it is a good idea to work with a trauma therapist in Florida. They can help process the trauma with you in a safe and secure setting. True You Always Counseling offers online therapy in Florida to all residents.
Practice Being Present
There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to practice this. To be fully consumed by a single moment, not allowing your mind to wander forward or back. But to simply just be. One way that is particularly enjoyable if you are a nature lover is to stand on the grass barefoot either in the morning or in the evening. Close your eyes and begin deep breathing. 3-second breath in through your nose, hold it for a full second, and then a slow and controlled exhale from your mouth for four seconds. After a few deep breaths (which is continued for the whole exercise) begin noticing the world around you while your eyes are closed.
Notice how the earth feels beneath your feet and between your toes. Notice how the sun feels against your skin. How does the air around you feel on your skin and hair? Are there any smells around you? Notice how your heart feels when it beats, and how your muscles and other parts of your body feel.
If you are not much of a nature lover, you can try the same exercise inside. You can try it laying or sitting. Find what is comfortable for you and in a place you feel relaxed, to begin with. This exercise can be done for just a minute or two when you first begin, working your way up to five minutes per time. It is good to aim for at least twice a week with this exercise, however, that is up to you. You can do it more or less frequently, however, less than twice a week and it will likely take much longer to notice long-term benefits.
While the above exercise is technically a form of meditation, what we mean here is guided meditation. Either from an app, Youtube video, in a group setting, or even from yourself. The goal of guided meditation is to focus on particular sensations throughout your body and in some cases, utilize visualization. This practice helps with relaxation and being present in the moment. Far too often you push and push without ever taking time to notice the signals your body may be sending you. With guided meditation (or any type of meditation) you are able to focus on your body.
With guided meditation, you are also able to make note of various situations that stimulate anxieties. Once you become aware of these stimulating situations you are able to identify the root cause of your feelings of anxiousness. True You Always compassionate trauma therapist in Florida supports you with identifying, processing, and healing through those challenging trauma events.
Unplug as a Simple Start For Mindfulness for Beginners
The vast majority of your day is spent in front of a screen. Whether it is your phone, television, or computer, you are consumed with technology. It is the world in which we live. It may be your “escape” or the only way you can “disconnect” from the stress of the day. However, what is really happening, is that you are disconnecting from yourself. It is another way you tune your immediate world out and focus on things that are outside.
It takes you away from your own self, your family, and your friends. You are not living in the moment. You are not present. Building mindfulness helps you become more present in your life as well as in the lives of those around you. Most people wildly underestimate how much time they spend tuned in to a screen rather than their own lives.
Control the Controllable When Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners
Part of the art of mindfulness for beginners and being truly present comes with the realization that nothing is controllable. Quite a bit of your life and perceptions are influenceable, but not completely controllable. Much of your anxiety, depression, and stress stems from feeling out of control.
The desire to have control is often born from trauma. Something that happened in the past over which you had very little, if any, control. Now, you struggle when you feel something is outside of your control or you can’t change something. Take control through trauma therapy in Florida!
When you are present and focus only on what you can control (your thoughts, reactions, and behaviors you eliminate thousands of stressors. This is one of the hardest parts of living mindfully because it is our nature to connect with people. So, we naturally care what others think, we tie our worthiness to how others perceive us and we allow their actions, or lack thereof in some cases, to consume us and how we feel. Imagine going from living life feeling as though everything is out of control, to living life not concerned with control. It is a freeing aspect of living a mindful life.
One of the best things you can do to begin a mindful life is to be deeply curious. Part of this requires you to engage with yourself as non-judgmental. That means any thoughts, feelings, sensations, etcetera that you have, you are curious about them. You are not judging yourself because of them. For instance, rather than feeling embarrassed or ashamed for being angry at someone, being curious about what sparked that anger. What does that anger represent to you? Consider what about their actions caused this reaction. What is it about you that turned to anger as a reaction?
With this open and curious mind, you can learn much more about yourself. Curiosity is the best tool for growth. It allows you to explore in an uninhibited way, learning more about yourself and the world around you. Allowing you to be completely present in a moment rather than fighting yourself or your reactions to various situations.
Practicing mindfulness for beginners is one of the best ways to combat an overwhelming sense of stress and anxiety. It allows you to be more in tune with yourself in all aspects as well as more present in your own life. It also allows you to be more present with the people in your life. You are able to focus on what is in front of you rather than on things that may never happen or things that cannot change.
Start Learning Mindfulness for Beginners from Our Skilled Online Therapists in Florida!
Starting a mindfulness practice can be a great grounding and emotion regulation tool for stress, anxiety, and trauma. If you suffer from anxiety or stress, we invite you to contact us today for a free consultation. When we talk, you can share what your struggles are we can explore how our therapists can support you. Our online Florida counseling practice has a skilled anxiety therapist who specializes in therapy for anxiety and stress. To start your counseling journey, schedule your free phone consultation to determine if this is the right service for you, or follow these simple steps:
Other Services Offered at True You Always
Here at True You Always, we offer many services with a wide range of therapists. We are here to walk alongside you no matter what you’re dealing with. Our goal is to provide a safe and accepting space for you to breathe and be your authentic self. Along with therapy for teens, we offer additional services at our Florida practice. You may also be interested in therapy for first responders, therapy for work stress, anxiety, and stress treatment, or PTSD treatment and trauma therapy. Additionally, we offer couples therapy, family therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, therapy for disordered eating, support for families with a loved one struggling with ED, therapy for adults, substance use disorders, therapy for spouses of first responders, play therapy, therapy for allergies, and chronic illness. All services are offered via online therapy in Florida so you can get help from the comfort of your own space.