Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we're better able to manage them. Studies to date suggest that mindfulness affects many aspects of our psychological well-being—improving our mood, increasing positive emotions, and decreasing our anxiety and emotional reactivity.
As we head towards the end of this half term, we would like you to take 5 for you and your families to be mindful. Below are some ways to incorporate mindfulness into your take 5 opportunities:
• Mindfulness Through Breathing - When we are stressed or anxious, we often take shallow breaths into our chests. By breathing deeply into your belly, you can use your breath to calm both your body and mind. To practice mindful breathing, place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest, feeling the gentle rise and fall of your breath. Count to three as you inhale, then count to three again as you exhale. Close your eyes, too, if that feels comfortable.
• Mindfulness Through Sensory Experiences - Sensory experiences also help us to focus and relax. Try listening to relaxing music or other calming sounds around you. You might also enjoy heading outside to hear the sounds of nature.
• Mindfulness Through Movement – Pilates and Yoga are great ways to be mindful. There are some excellent sessions on YouTube which you can follow such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W3BvaS-iH0