Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Do you know when it's easy for me to be mindful? When I have nothing on my to-do list, no one blowing up my phone, and a quiet house with me in the kitchen. Or in a yoga class. Or that moment right before I drift off to sleep.
Besides from those moments, it's so difficult to maintain a mindful state! I'm always battling 12 thoughts at once, usually with 2 or 3 (sometimes 4!) devices near me: my laptop for appointment scheduling, the ipad for note charting, my personal cell phone and my work phone. Even on my drive home I'm usually on a work-related phone call. And if it's not work I have so many other things going on in the background my head could spin off (maintaining healthy friendships and relationships, having enough me-time, making sure the needs of my cat are met - he's high maintenance - and trying to do basic things like laundry and vacuuming before they too get out of control). Speaking of a million things at once.... My book, The Healthy Baby Guidebook, will be available on Amazon this January of 2018!! See what I mean?
If anyone needs to be practicing mindfulness, it's not when things are slow and easy, it's when things are hectic and busy. That is when mindfulness can be most beneficial if utilized correctly.
You see, the thing is, I've read Practicing the Power of Now so many times I can almost recite it (if you haven't read it, go read it now, it's amazing). I've even gone on a 10 day vipassana meditation retreat where I took a vow of silence, made no eye contact, and did not utter a single word for nearly two weeks- I simply meditated for 12 hours a day, every day, without human interaction and distraction.
So how do I still struggle with mindfulness? Well, I'm human. And like I said- it's easy to be mindful when the situation is conducive to mindfulness! Mindfulness does not come easy. You have to re-train your brain, and it's a constant process which ebbs and flows. You can't attempt to be mindful for a week and expect that to stick. It's a daily practice, with some days that are naturally easier and some days are more difficult.
So what do I do when I find myself in a time of high stress, high demand, too much on my plate? Well first, I replay Practicing the Power of Now audio book during my drives to and from work, and secondly, if I'm in a particularly anxious/stressed out phase... I tap (also known as EFT).
So what is tapping? It is a universal healing tool, based off of acupuncture points, that when stimulated over and over, using specific patterns and positive verbal training, can resolve and eliminate the blockages preventing you from achieving a balanced and healthy state of mind.
Here are some great resources to learn more about EFT:
Basic Tutorial: EFT Tapping
Tapping is a great way to essentially reprogram your knee-jerk reaction thoughts and change them to positive, supportive thought processes instead.
One of my Favorite Tapping Videos:
As I continue to practice mindfulness on a daily basis, tapping is a great option to help recenter myself in times of chaos, and may be a great option for you to!
I would encourage you to watch the videos and assess how you feel, prior to and after a session to see if it helps you!
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