You hear the word mindfulness everywhere these days. The bad thing is there are few people that do a good job of explaining exactly what it is. I will attempt to simplify what can seem like a complicated term. Mindfulness is simply being fully present in the moment and being fully accepting of how you feel emotionally and physically. Really that's all, seem simply? The problem in the "stay busy" culture we live in it can be hard to make sure we give ourselves these few moments to stop and see how we are doing throughout the day. I am going to try and address how to add this practice to your life.
It is important to stop and check in with ourselves throughout the day because when we don't do that we can have an emotion take us by surprise. When and emotion sneaks up on us we are less likely to be able to control the behavior that follows. So, how do we do it? One way to make sure you are reminded through out the day is by an app on your phone. They will allow you to set alarms to remind you to stop and breath and check in with your body. One of the ones I found on a quick search of the iOS app store was this one. It lets you set a schedule. Other ways are to simply use the alarm function on your phone. If you work in an office environment you can practice stopping and checking in every time you hear the printer print or your cubicle neighbor's phone ring. I am sure if take a few minutes you could think of some other triggers that might work for you.
The most important part of this is to remember to take a deep breath and then ask yourself, how am I feeling physically? Then ask yourself, how am I feeling emotionally? You might want to take note in a journal or just make mental note. Once you identify how you are feeling then you want to ask why you are feeling this way. Was it because you had a bad morning? Or was it because you didn't realize it but you had been slouching in your chair and it is hurting your back. This way you can make the changes needed to process the emotion or change the behavior to alleviate the pain.
It will take some practice to make this a natural part of your day. Hopefully, you will start to see that benefit very quickly after starting the practice. I feel certain you will. Let me know how it works for you.
Chris Depew is a therapist and operates a private counseling practice in Huntsville Alabama and he focuses on personality disorders, addictions, and divorce care but helps anyone find peace in the middle of troubled times.