Being on ‘autopilot’, where we go through our routines without actually being present in the moment, can be problematic as it might cause us to engage in behaviours that might not be helpful for the situation, or even make us feel that life is meaningless. Mindfulness can help to increase our awareness of our thoughts and emotions, allowing us to better understand and express ourselves to others. But… What exactly is mindfulness?
- Mindfulness journaling
- Mindfulness journaling is a great avenue for us to reflect on our thoughts and emotions and write them down. By identifying our emotions and the reason for them, we can then consider what we can do as a response. In this journal, we can also note down the things we are grateful for each day.
- With more gratitude, we will have more resources to turn to when we face challenges and will be more likely to remain positive.
- Deep breathing (4-2-6 technique)
- Deep breathing is an effective and proven method for helping us calm down when we are feeling anxious. In slowing our heart rate, our slow breathing signals to the brain for it to relax. Breathe in deeply for 4 counts, hold for 2 counts, then exhale fully for 6 counts. This helps us to focus and brings our attention back to the present.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2013, September 1). The magic of mindfulness. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-magic-of-mindfulness