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What is Mindfulness?



What is Mindfulness?

With everything happening in the world these days, it can be difficult to remain calm and centered. The practice of mindfulness is a simple tool you can use anywhere and any time to help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s even free!


What is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is a type of meditation that uses simple strategies to eliminate internal mind chatter and focus on being in the moment. When you begin to feel your mind wander, you refocus your thoughts. What’s great about mindfulness is you aren’t allowed to judge yourself for letting random thoughts pop into your head. You simply let them go and refocus.


For example, let’s take walking. You can go for a walk to relax and take in the great outdoors. You can also use walking as a form of meditation. If you want to use walking as a form of meditation, this is mindful walking. Notice every step, how your feet feel in your shoes (if you’re wearing shoes), how the asphalt feels under your shoes, and how your arms swing.



When we are stressed and anxious, it’s usually because we are focusing on the thoughts that are worrying us, trying to figure out what to do about them. Practicing mindfulness gives our brain a break from trying to figure all these things out. So, while you're meditating, whether it is by practicing mindfulness or another form of meditation, let those thoughts go and get back to whatever you chose as your focus.


In the walking example, if worrisome chatter intrudes, you bring yourself back to focusing on your walk, all the parts of it, and how they feel in the moment. If you chose a breathing meditation, you would focus back on your breath.


Using Oracle Cards for Mindfulness

Oracle cards can be a great tool for helping you practice mindfulness. Creating an oracle card deck seemed like the next logical step as a tool to help people practice what they learned in our book.


If you aren’t sure what to choose for your mindfulness practice on a given day, randomly drawing an oracle card is a great solution, especially if you have an affirmation deck or a deck that has great artwork for meditating on.


Affirmations

To practice mindfulness with affirmations, I simply repeat a chosen affirmation over and over. I usually repeat it in my head, but you can also say it out loud. This helps keep random thoughts out of my head while I’m meditating.


Affirmation cards often have background artwork on the card, so if you don’t feel like repeating the affirmation you can concentrate on the artwork and see what you notice about it. How do the colors make you feel? How does the image represent the affirmation or other words on the card?


All the background art on the oracle deck cards was created purposely with the chakras in mind as well as the intention of the affirmation.


Visualizations

A visualization is seeing something in your mind. The visualizations we used often involved imagining colored light wrapping around your body. You can visualize anything you like. What feels comforting to you?


I downloaded a free app today called Mindshift- CBT. It’s great if you suffer from stress and anxiety. They have a visualization called “Mental Vacation” in their Chill Zone. I felt as though I was on a beach in the tropics somewhere instead of my living room. That’s the great thing about visualizations, you can go anywhere you like!


Help Your Child Calm Their Mind

You can use oracle cards with your kids to help them calm their minds too!

My youngest has been struggling with a lot of fears lately, especially at bedtime. We have been using the little renegades mindful kids activity card. They have a bedtime version and a daytime version, and we have been alternating.


The bedtime cards focus on calming breathing activities and the daytime cards are things like sitting quietly and just listening or tapping various parts of the body. They use watercolor artwork of nature and animals as a prompt for the activity. They are really beautiful cards, and so far, they seem to be helping. My son loves going through the deck and choosing cards.


Whether you do it for yourself or your family, I hope you will take some time to be mindful this week. May you enjoy it so much you make it part of your daily routine! If you already have a mindfulness routine, I’d love to hear about what you do in the comments below.

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