Being mindful is a tool for successful maintenance of your mental health. In addition to becoming mindful, you need to develop ways to process what is being brought to mind.
Here are some ways I have been able to maintain healthy mindfulness:
- Journal – Journalling is one method to clear your mind. When your mind is juggling multiple topics and you can’t really file any of them away; journal. I find, if I just start writing words on the paper, sentences are eventually formed, and plans for action can be made or thoughts can be filed away with closure. As I learn new strategies for coping with emotion regulation, I will use my journal to find perspective after an event has caused an emotional spike. Some processes are easier to learn than others. Emotion regulation is not an always easily managed. When I write about the cause of the emotional spike, I am not only calmed, I also learn how the situation could have been handled differently.
- Breathing – Being mindful can at times leave you open to feelings that are not comfortable. You should prepare yourself for the possibility that this can happen, and have a plan in place for coping. Breathing is my go-to for uncomfortable feelings. I use the breathing technique of inhaling for my count (your count may be faster or slower) of 7, and exhaling for my count of 11. I do this until a wave of calmness washes over me and I able to move on.
- Pause – When uncertain of how you should respond to someone, or you simply need to say something important, take a moment. If you do not think you are capable of providing an appropriate answer, pause. You can request to excuse yourself from the conversation, or if you are real quick at calming, carry on after your pause.
- Celebrate – If your mindfulness journey suddenly involves being aware of new thoughts or feelings, celebrate that discovery. Journal about it. Take a moment, in the moment, to revel in the new thinking and feeling. The more you are present for your thoughts and feelings; the more able you will be to appreciate them.
- Meditate – If you are new to mindfulness, it can be overwhelming at times to pay attention to all that is happening within you. Take the time to clear your mind and allow it to rest. Meditation is the best practice. Your mind and body will appreciate it.
These are just some of the things that work for me. Mindfulness does not happen overnight. It is a journey. Enjoy the journey; you will be amazed at how many things you didn’t notice before.
Until next time…..do the next thing!