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New Year, New Mind – An Introduction to Mindfulness

By increasing your awareness of your actions and thoughts, mindfulness may increase your ability to: cope with the challenged of everyday life, deal with difficult events with grace and composure, and be fully present and alive in the moment.

There have been more than 30 years of research in to mindfulness based approaches, and participants typically report feeling more alive and in tune with themselves and others.

Practising mindfulness every day doesn’t have to take more than five minutes, but it could make a big difference to your life. Try this three step breathing exercise when you next feel stressed.

Step One
Pause for a moment and sit quietly somewhere away from phones and emails. Close your eyes and check in with how you are feeling inside. Become aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body. Any areas of tightness or tension, or discomfort. Bring some kindly and compassionate awareness to how you are feeling in this moment now, and try not to judge or criticise whatever your experience is.

Step Two
Bring your awareness to your breathing. Just notice the in-breath and the out-breath, and the movement of the breath in your body – perhaps in the chest or the abdomen. Follow the breath for a few rounds of breathing (inhalations and exhalations).

Step Three
Come back to a sense of your body and mind as a whole, bringing a sense of space into your life in this moment now. Perhaps set a positive affirmation such as ‘I am calm and capable in this moment’.

At Healthy Options we practice the art of mindfulness through meditation, come with us on guided walks to secluded beaches where we can empty our minds and achieve a relaxed and stress-free state. Or join in with our daily yoga Nidra classes, it is said that half an hour of yoga Nidra is equivalent to 4 hours deep sleep.

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