Practicing mindfulness

I first came across the concept of mindfulness in Yoga. I took a 16 week beginners class to learn the basics of the art in an effort to relieve some stress and, hopefully, make myself a little more flexible. And I truly think it worked. I do remember leaving each of those yoga classes with an inherent sense of calm.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to yoga class. Not for any other reason than that life gets in the way sometimes. But, I’ve come across the practice of mindfulness, one of the key concepts of yoga, in another area of life. It’s true, ‘they’ swear by mindfulness in therapy.

One of the things I’ve been told in therapy is that I could benefit from being a lot more mindful. And honestly, that’s true. The more that I think about it though, the more that I think everyone can benefit from being more mindful.

At times it can come across as a tad hokey. It’s worth the effort, if you’re willing to put forth the time.

*Please keep in mind, I did not write the following. It was a hand-out written by my therapist. I was asked to put it on my wall to remind me to practice mindfulness as I go about each day.


What is mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness is experiencing the present moment in a non-judgmental way. It is paying attention with a welcoming and allowing attitude… noticing whatever we are experiencing in our thoughts, behaviour and feelings.
  • Making changes in our life begins with awareness. Awareness means paying attention to what we are doing, thinking and feeling. We then have the option to either accept things or change them.
  • Practicing mindfulness teaches us to relax and remain alert in the midst of the problems and joys of life. It encourages us to pause in the moment and respond to life with curiosity and a welcoming attitude.

How do you practice mindfulness?

  • The practice of mindfulness focuses on four areas: body, emotions, thoughts and inner self/soul.
  • Begin by becoming aware of your breath. Simply notice the sensations of the breath in the nose, throat, lungs or belly. Follow the breath just as it is. The goal is not to change it but to observe it and be mindful of each breath.
  • Once you’ve mastered your breath, mindfulness can extend to noticing: body sensations such as pain, pleasure, heat, cold, tension and relaxation, emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and happiness, thoughts that arise in the mind in the form of sentences, words, fragments and images and your connection with your inner-self and with the universe.
  • The purpose is to fully experience and be aware of whatever might arise within you… calm, security, panic, fear…
  • The practice of mindfulness, when you’ve worked at it enough, will continue you as you move through your day, becoming more and more aware of your reactions as you go about your daily activities. Are you breathing more heavily when you’re scared? Do you breathe more deeply when you’re calm? How do you react in situations? How can you use that knowledge to better deal with situations in future?

It is believed that by staying in the present, being aware of who we are, how we feel and how we react to our day as we go through it, we’ll be less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past.

Because nobody should be worried about the past, and the future should be something to look forward too, not worry about.


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12 thoughts on “Practicing mindfulness

  1. Glad you wrote about this! I’ve been practicing being more mindful in the last couple of weeks in a desperate effort to ground out my anxiety some. It definitely takes practice but I can already notice little changes for the better!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @TheOverloadedMind I went to check out your blog and it says the blog site doesn’t exist…. I just wanted to bring this to your attention. I’m happy that mindfulness is working for you. The more you do it, the easier it gets (with perseverance of course) 🙂

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      1. Well that is concerning. Which way did you try to access it, or what did you click, to get to it so I can figure out what might need to be fixed. Thanks for the heads up!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I clicked on your name “The Overloaded Mind” which shows up next to your avatar above your comment. It shows up in blue on the WordPress app. That didn’t work, so then I typed in your site name word for word in search which didn’t work either. I’m thinking it has something to do with the current URL that you’re using.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. First, sorry for hijacking your comment section a little bit V, just trying to work out a kink. Will be sure to refer everybody your way that I can. Second, hopefully my issue will be resolved going forward. I think maybe the old link was still showing up and it won’t change on any comments in the past, but going forward (so with this comment on) I should be all up to date. Whoops!

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  2. I practice mindfulness and it’s a concept they taught us in second year university. I hadn’t fully put it to use until recently. It really does work – even though I don’t do yoga (yet) I try to only focus on the present. My mind used to be full of chatter and it’s not anymore. Idk if it’s the antidepressant that’s shutting up my overwhelmed brain or if it’s the intentional mindfulness that’s making me feel calmer.

    👉 Thinking about the past is linked to depression, and thinking about the future is linked to anxiety! If you have depression and anxiety like I do, there’s a good chance you’re thinking too much about the past or the future. Focus on the present for a calmer mind. 🧘‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you see my posts and comments on yours so often Vee; that is what I have been talking about. My mantra for ages has been: Non Judgment and Living in the Now.
    And I have been seeing the need for you to meditate.
    Once we are Mindful, Aware : everything falls in place.
    All the best Vee. Pls don’t leave Yoga and start to meditate 😊🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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