Learning to understand your emotions rather than pushing them aside can be really beneficial not only for you, but for the people in your life. This translates down to children too. Helping them notice their feelings by pointing out emotions and making them fathom what is happening, enables them to grow up understanding how they truly feel. Making them compassionate and thoughtful.
Journaling isn’t the only way to do this. Having a quiet chat with someone you trust can be just as worthy, if not more so.
The late Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and peace activist has been a pioneer for brining mindfulness into the world and applying it to everyday modern life.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an energy that we generate when we bring our mind back to our body and get in touch with what is happening in the present. Like becoming grounded, we become aware of our breathing and how our body’s truly feel.
Here are some mindful techniques which can rebalance your mind and body, helping you to look after your mind:
As we breathe in we become aware that we are breathing in, and as we begin to exhale, we become aware that we are breathing out. Following your natural flow of breath can be very relaxing and refreshing for your body – relieving tension from mind and body.
According to Thich Nhat Hanh, “walking in meditation means to walk in such a way that we know we are walking”. Enjoying every step, we connect with the ground our feet lay on, synchronising our breathing to our steps. Letting go of your body and let your whole body walk. Relax your shoulders or/and arms and allow them to swing naturally beside your body. Open our eyes and take in and see your surroundings, hear the birds and sounds that surround you. Become aware of your 5 senses as you continue to walk.
- Sitting Meditation
The Plum Village tradition is to sit to enjoy sitting. Thich Nhat Hanh says that sitting correctly and comfortably is very relaxing. It’s a technique where you don’t need to struggle or strive, you simply sit in complete ease. When sitting you allow your face to relax, start to release any tension in your mouth and jaw and as you establish this, begin to focus on relaxing your shoulders, then arms and so forth – all while focusing on your breathing.
Mindfulness isn’t for everyone, so take baby steps when you explore what relaxes your mind and body. Sitting down with a book for 15 minutes is enough time for your mind to refocus and relax from the day you’re going through. Maybe, it’s quickly smashing out a workout – getting your sweat on.
Whichever way you choose to look after your mind, you must continue to understand that your brain is a living organ which needs nurturing just as much as the rest of your body.