Updated: Oct 15
Compass Blog #009_By Maeve J
Mindfulness- the word seems to be floating around everywhere these days, but what does it mean? Merriam Webster defines mindfulness as, “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgemental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”. The ability to be both fully present and non-reactive is a crucial step towards living in a mentally healthy and happy manner. Here are three ways for you to practice mindfulness!
1. Move Your Body
Without a doubt, your mind and body are connected in many ways. By engaging in regular exercise, you strengthen the connection between your emotions, thoughts, senses, and environment. This can look like whatever you want it to look like! For example, if you’re interested in something slower with intentional movements and focused breathing, try out pilates, tai chi, or stretching! If you’re interested in something that is higher impact, try kick-boxing or running. For advice on what kind of movement is healthiest for you and guidance on more ways to support your physical health, set up a primary care appointment with a doctor at Compass Community Health!
2. Spend Time Alone
Sometimes this often easier said than done. With our busy lives, dinging phones, and ever-occupied minds, it can be hard to enjoy a few moments of silent solitude. The good news is, a little bit can go a long way! Even a few minutes of intentional quiet without any distractions is conducive to introspection, relaxation, and also to conditioning your mind to be in the present. If it feels uncomfortable at first, start small. The important thing is to intentionally and patiently bring yourself to a place of practicing a “nonjudgemental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”. At the same time, having support in any season of life is so important. A professional at Compass would be happy to come alongside you!
3. Try Grounding Techniques
Grounding techniques are practices to use in situations when you feel particularly stuck or anxious, or at anytime! They are simple, and intended to bring you back into a state of feeling “grounded” calmly in the present moment. There are many kinds of grounding techniques that anyone can use. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Slow down, take a look around, and name five things you can see. Then, name four things you can feel. Name three things you can hear. Name two things you can smell. Lastly, name one thing you can taste.
Take your shoes off and feel the ground beneath your feet. While doing so, take note of the texture you feel, what the temperature is, and your own weight pressing into the ground. Then, pay attention to how your body feels- such as your hair brushing against your ear, the itch on your left arm, and the material of your clothes.
Close your eyes and lay down. Starting at the top of your head and working down, focus on intentionally relaxing each part of your body. Imagine a sandbag being cut open and the sand quietly tumbling out as the bag deflates.
For more ways to better your mental health, check out our blog with 5 tips to improve your mental health!
Your mental health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.
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