Written by Jessica Notermans
At camp, you learned that mindfulness is a great skill to re-engage with the present moment; acknowledging how your body and mind feels and just accepting whatever is without judging it. When you find yourself in an emotional pattern or in a difficult situation (i.e. fight with family or friends, urges to eat, stressful exams coming up), take a moment to BREATHE and come back to your SENSES.
The acronym STOP is a great way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.
T-Take 3 deep breaths
O-Observe what is happening in your mind and your body
P- Proceed with love and kindness – no judgment
By taking this step back you are allowing yourself to continue whatever it is that you were doing with INTENTION rather than REACTING mindlessly through arguments, fights, and binge eating.
You can also decide to completely remove yourself from the situation and/or annoying thought patterns by taking a MINDFUL WALK. Remember those long walks to the beach and the labyrinth?! Silence. Listening to the leaves dancing to the wind, the birds, the people and bicycles passing by. Looking at the sky, the colors all around. Smelling the eucalyptus trees, feeling the fresh breeze on your skin. Use these natural cues to FEEL the PRESENT and DETACH from whatever is bothering you. You can also put earphones on and listen to music that makes you feel happy and makes you want to dance, and just walk. Observe how you move your body through space, steps on the ground, look around you, BREATHE, ENJOY, SMILE.
Research has shown that walking for only 10 minutes can boost your mood and trigger positive emotions!
Now, if you want to be alone and in your own space to take a step back and settle down your emotions, find a quiet and peaceful place (maybe your bedroom). Lie down, let your body completely sink into the ground, chair, or bed, and breathe deeply, in and out of your nose. Notice any tension that may be in your body and on your exhale let it all go. Every inhale fill your body with a warm and bright light to soothe and comfort your mind and body, and bring in all the positive. Exhale release all that you don’t need anymore (i.e. tensions, negative thoughts, stresses, etc.). Continue this breathing practice until your body and mind feel more at ease. Take a deep inhale through the nose, and exhale with a deep sigh. Bring a gentle smile to your face, slowly open your eyes, and proceed with kindness ☺