Spring into Mindfulness

Let's Talk Mindfulness and How To Use It
Hand in field of flowers

As spring comes into bloom, it often brings a sense of renewed energy. The season brings to mind spring cleaning and becoming more active and involved. It means the end of school for the year is near, and we begin thinking about summer plans – what activities, events, games, and vacations we will participate in.

With so much forward focus – and potential for stress to arise – this is a great time to talk about mindfulness: what it is, how to do it, and how to use it.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. This practice is a non-judgmental one. We are not categorizing thoughts and feelings as good or bad.

How to be mindful

Take a moment to check in with yourself. What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What sensations do you notice in your body? Use your senses. What can you smell, taste, touch, see, and hear? Do you notice places in your body that are tense or ache? Are your thoughts racing? Does your mind go blank? Notice these things with gentleness, and don’t judge them. Allow them to be what they are.

Can mindfulness reduce anxiety?

Anxious thoughts can be described as our mind spinning in the past (“if only…”), or spinning in the future (“what if…”), or sometimes both. When we shift our mind to “what is,” we are in the present. Anxiety doesn’t live in the present moment. It is the worry about what is to come, the judgment we place on ourselves about what has passed, and often the restless feeling of needing to act on something.

This is an example of how we can use mindfulness – to ease something like anxiety. By bringing our focus to the present, we are able to focus on “what is” and calm ourselves so we can tackle whatever the issue or worry is from a balanced and thoughtful place. When we practice this daily, we become more in tune with the present and better able to manage the stresses in our lives.

If you’d like to learn more about how to apply mindfulness in your life, request an appointment with a mental health professional at The Village office most convenient for you.

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