Tag: Meditation

How to Achieve Inner Peace – 15 Amazing Tips!

How to Achieve Inner Peace – 15 Amazing Tips!

Today we will be talking you through how to achieve inner peace. The quest for inner peace in this chaotic world is a noble one. By finding peace within ourselves, we make it easier to navigate the turmoil of others, whether it’s society or dealing…

Self-Care Ideas for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care Ideas for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will discussing self-care ideas for men. We often think about self-care from a woman’s perspective. But self-care is something that everyone should be focusing on, not just women. One of the biggest myths going is that self-care is just for women. This could not be…

How to Balance the Heart Chakra – Ultimate Guide!

How to Balance the Heart Chakra – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be talking you through how to balance the heart chakra.

The heart chakra is the fourth out of seven chakras in the human body and is referred to as ‘Anahata’ chakra in Sanskrit.

The word ‘Anahata’ translates to ‘unhurt.’ It is located at the centre of the spine at the heart level.

An active Anahata chakra paints your life with compassion, love, empathy, and forgiveness. The fourth chakra radiates the feeling of trust, generosity, gratitude, and connectedness in you.

The heart chakra is symbolised by a green six-pointed star inside a 12-petaled flower. This chakra is known to have feminine energy and is associated with air.

The heart chakra happens to be the middle chakra of the seven human chakras which unites the physical and spiritual chakras.

By connecting the lower and upper three chakras the fourth chakra acts as a bridge between the earth and the spirit.

How we treat others (as well as ourselves) is very much guided by one’s Heart Chakra.

When this Heart Chakra is centred, you’re better able to express/receive unconditional love for others as well as yourself.

 

 

What colour is associated with the heart chakra?

The heart chakra is associated with the colour green, but it’s also associated with the colour pink

Green is a very soothing and calming energy which promotes feelings of harmony and security as its associated with nature.

Pink is a colour of sweetness, romance and a loving sensitivity. All of these energies are what produces true unconditional love for another, in spite of any flaws or imperfections.

As such, when the heart chakra is open, or in the process of opening, the capacity for unconditional love and acceptance is strong, and being able to experience this feeling naturally raises your vibration.

 

Symptoms of unbalanced heart chakra

The heart chakra can go inactive due to both physical and emotional hurtful situations and a change in environment.

It manifests into blocking of energy flow or overflow of energy, either of them being considered problematic cases.
Below are the symptoms to recognise the imbalance in heart chakra:

  • Jealousy
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Trying to please; co-dependency.
  • Feeling of closed down
  • Feeling of either victimization or rescuer.
  • Overly defensive.
  • Extreme isolation; anti-social.
  • Yearning for approval from others.
  • Not being able to forgive and holding onto grudges even for the slightest of things.
  • Respiratory ailments including lung infections, breathing issues, and bronchitis.
  • Circulatory and heart-related problems.

You experience ‘heart chakra pain,’ if your Anahata chakra is blocked.

 

Where is the heart chakra?

The heart chakra is located in the centre of your chest. It is the fourth chakra, but the first of the higher chakras.

The lower chakras include the solar plexus being the third, the sacral chakra being the second and the root chakra being the first and the base.

How-to-Balance-the-Heart-Chakra

Once you master the lower three chakras, you will have a solid foundation to begin working on the higher chakras.

When the heart chakra is out of balance, you may lack the ability to be open and receptive to others. You may not be able to forgive easily and/or lack compassion as well as hold onto grudges.

 

When does the heart chakra close?

Many times, someone who has been deeply wounded or heartbroken will have a closed heart chakra, which is a normal response to this type of pain.

Although, the only way to truly heal the heart chakra, is to open your heart to love again.

The good news for those who have experienced heartbreak, is that if you’re nervous to open your heart to love again with another person, you can simply start by loving yourself, which the heart chakra is also associated with.

The ability to love another starts with the ability to love the self. When you love yourself, you know what your needs are, you respect your own boundaries and you essentially properly nurture and ‘parent’ yourself.

 

How to Balance the Heart Chakra – Ultimate Guide!

 

Creative visualisation meditation

Creative visualisation is a exercise used to promote manifestation. This technique requires the use of visualising what you want and experiencing the emotions and feelings you would have if it were your reality.

You can use this meditation to open and balance your heart chakra by visualising this energy point during its healing process.

heart-chakra

First, visualise a vibrant green spinning ball of energy located at your heart. While this ball of light is active; connect with feelings of love, light, compassion, and gratitude.

All the while, stay open to receive love directly from the universe. Simply, allow those gifts to flow right into your heart energy source and breathe.

 

 

Breathwork

The heart chakra’s element is air, and it relates to our lungs as well as our hearts. So, some simple breathing exercises can help to release blockages and open your heart chakra.

Concentrate on taking deep breaths, using your chest instead of your diaphragm. You can combine this with meditation, imaging a gentle green light bathing your chest as you inhale and exhale.

Or you might visualize a rose blooming in your chest while you breathe. Each breath feeds the flower, helping it grow stronger and more beautiful.

 

Practice self-love

Self-love is a deep concept and one which can be connected with essentially self-parenting as to love the self is to take care of the self

This includes all aspects of care including physical and mental health, taking care of your responsibilities, getting your social needs met, learning skills to better improve your life, following your true passions and much, much more.

Self-love involves being your own best friend and cheerleader for your life. This includes encouraging yourself, never giving up on yourself and saying nice and uplifting things to yourself.

 

 

Be patient

Learning to love the self is a gradual process as opening the heart chakra is also a gradual process.

Once you heal and open your heart chakra, the rest of the journey up the chakras becomes more spiritually and divinely connected to source and your higher-self.

Connecting with these higher planes of existence and awareness requires you to be at a certain level vibrationally, which is why it’s always recommended to begin working with the lower chakras first.

The reason for this is because transitioning between the spiritual reality and the physical reality can be intense, as the vibrational state of both dimensions are vastly different.

Top tip:

Want to learn more about the 7 chakras? This book has all you need to know! – Chakra Healing: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing.

 

 

Affirmations

Simply, affirmations are phrases you say out loud or think to yourself. In detail, affirmation defined means the act of affirming; Hence, when you say or think a phrase over and over again you are affirming that it is true.

Use affirmations to affirm that your heart is open, balanced, and full of love and light!

Here are some of my favourite healing affirmations:

  • My heart space radiates powerful green light.
  • I live in harmony with all other beings.
  • I am open to give and receive love.
  • I am compassionate and connect with others.
  • I am open to love and be loved.
  • I am loving awareness.
  • I accept and acknowledge myself
  • I nurture my inner self.
  • I am grateful for all that I have got.
  • I feel a sense of unity with nature and animals.
  • I accept things as they are.
  • I embrace forgiveness.
  • I am grateful for the challenges that shaped me.

 

 

Crystal therapy

To some, crystals are just beautiful rocks and stones to look at or to decorate with. However, what many people don’t know is that they carry powerful energy and when used correctly can aid your spiritual wellbeing.

Meditate with crystals that align with the heart chakra to promote healthy feelings associated with it.

Some popular crystals to use to balance the heart chakra are rose quartz, green aventurine, and malachite.

Top tip:

This crystals set for all 7 chakras are amazing! – 13 Pieces Healing Crystals Set, Chakra Stones Kit.

 

 

Eat the right food

What you eat has a huge impact on how you feel, this is a known fact – unhealthy foods are going to make you feel sluggish and drained while fresh healthy food makes you feel energised.

What many people don’t know is that the food you eat also contributed to the health of your chakras.

For a healthy and balanced heart chakra add in more green foods such as spinach, broccoli, avocados, cucumber, and kiwi.

 

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is the emotion of being thankful, showing appreciation, and returning kindness.

Heart-chakra

Being grateful is a beautiful and harmonious way to live as it attracts more love, happiness, and abundance into your life.

A simple way to practice gratitude is by saying 5 things you are grateful for upon waking up and going to sleep.

 

 

Practice yoga

Many energy healers believe that movement is a great way to open blocked chakras.

One of the best ways to move your body is through yoga. Try performing poses associated with the blocked chakras.

For example, if your heart chakra is blocked, perform moves that open your chest and permit you to breathe freely.

Visit an energy healer

Energy healers can direct the energy inside your body to improve the flow within your chakras.

You can try several types of energy healers, including Reiki practitioners, chakra alignment gurus, acupuncturists, and more.

During a healing session, you need to be concentrated on opening your chakras. You can’t just sit there thinking about other things and expect your chakras to recover.

Although someone else is guiding the energy in your body, you still need to be present and focused for this technique to work.

 

Spend Time in nature

To perform this technique, spend some time outside. Go for a walk through the grass, listening to the wind going through the trees, or sit down and absorb and be mindful of the natural beauty around you.

Be alert and present, and take notice of what you see, smell and hear.

This will help you feel grounded, make you feel oneness with nature, and will restore your chakra’s energy to its former glory.

 

 

Make time for joy

Give yourself permission to spend time doing activities you love and that bring you joy.

These don’t need to be big or time-consuming. Simple activities, such as putting on some music and dancing in your own home, can be enough. Just prioritise things that feed your heart.

 

How to Balance the Heart Chakra – Final thoughts

The heart chakra is the most important chakra to keep healthy as all the other chakras follow the energy it is radiating.

Prepare for some serious reflection and healing. I can’t lie to you though, heart chakra healing can be a little intense, but it’s 100% worth it.

When your heart is open, it is the best feeling in the world!

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST CHAKRA BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

Heart-chakra

Mindful Morning Routine – 12 Amazing Ideas!

Mindful Morning Routine – 12 Amazing Ideas!

Today I will be digging deep into some mindful morning routine ideas. When is the last time you had a calm and peaceful morning? Think about that for a moment. How we start our mornings has a huge impact on how the rest of our…

Overcoming Sleep Anxiety – 16 Natural Tips to Help! 

Overcoming Sleep Anxiety – 16 Natural Tips to Help! 

Today I will be talking about overcoming sleep anxiety. For some people, it happens like clockwork: Their anxiety is manageable during the day, but as soon as their head hits the pillow, every possible bad scenario plays out in their mind. Falling asleep is hard…

What is Shadow Work? – Ultimate Guide!

What is Shadow Work? – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be breaking down what is shadow work and the benefits this practice can have.

Carl Jung was the first psychologist to propose the idea of a ‘shadow self’- those parts of us such as personality traits and core wounds that we deny and hide from.

Everyone has a shadow self, and the more you deny it the stronger it becomes, and the more likely it is you will project it onto others.

Jung believed that we do not see others for who they are, but instead through the lens of our own shadow.

For example, the core wound of abandonment, if suppressed and unaddressed, can be projected onto others – you might assume every person who gets close to you will abandon you, and see all of their actions from this perspective, regardless of that person’s real intent.

Shadow work, then, is taking an honest look at ourselves – at our weaknesses, our faults, our core wounds and toxic behaviours.

It is facing them, learning from and integrating them into our personality so we can be more whole and authentic in our actions.

It also helps us to have more empathy for others – by looking at our own shadow we realise that often the people who hurt us simply cannot or will not integrate their own.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist, therefore all the advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

What is Shadow Work? – Ultimate Guide!

We all have our own demons that we fight in an effort to live out the best version of ourselves.

Through our upbringing, life experiences and the healing work our soul needs from past lives, we have shadows, demons, skeletons in the closet, whatever you want to call them.

This may be parts of ourselves we try to repress because they make us feel sad or wounded. They can also reflect how we internally perceive ourselves and ways in which we try to play small in society.

In my opinion, these demons are here are teachers to help elevate our consciousness, help us strengthen our relationship with ourselves, build compassion and help us evolve into the highest and best versions of ourselves.

As we heal and evolve, our ‘dark side’ and shadows become more apparent. If we suppress these demons or let our dark side run without being attended to effectively, our lives will turn into chaos and we’ll remain stuck in our spiritual evolution and physical health journey, keeping our wellbeing stagnant and ridden with toxicity.

what-is-shadow-work

Not attending to the healing of our shadows can manifest in mental health issues, diseases, feelings of low self-worth, addictions, scarcity mindset, and other mind/body health issues that affect our quality of life.

Our shadow self often harms our life, in ways that are unconscious to us at the time, as a habitual reaction to particular places, people or things. Our shadow self-blocks us from acting for our own greatest good and can prevent us from reaching our true potential in life.

Through integration of our shadows, fully acknowledging our full self, we can live harmoniously and abundantly in our lives.

Society, especially in the age of social media’s highlight reels and filters, has told us to hide our shadows and show up ‘perfectly’. And often in the programming we received in our upbringing, we have been taught to suppress our pain and darkness.

We began to believe on a subliminal level, that if we experience struggles or pain, we aren’t being ‘good’. Expressing negative emotions isn’t ‘right’.

However, in reality, through acknowledging our darkness and working through the pain, we are able to enhance our sense of self, leading to greater success and living a more radiant and self-actualised life rooted in our truth.

Top tip:

This is an excellent book on the shadow-self – Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche

 

 

Working with your shadows

Facing our shadows and doing cleaning up the debris is necessary to live a fully integrated life that helps you to continue to evolve and elevate your wellbeing.

Facing your pain takes courage and an open heart. It’s easier to numb the pain, ignore it or suppress it.

Facing it head on and showing up to do the work, allows you to better understand yourself and create more ease in your life.

 

Is shadow work dangerous?

Shadow work is not dangerous, in fact it will actually improve your mental health and the way you interact with the world. We’ll talk about the benefits of shadow work soon.

Becoming aware of our ‘dark’ side allows us to heal old wounds and to integrate those unconscious parts into our conscious selves in healthy ways.

You can’t fix or heal something if you don’t know it’s broken, right? So, shining a light on your shadow self lets you change or heal it.

It allows you to talk to that hurt part of yourself and tell them they are loved and safe.

 

Benefits of shadow work

  • Spiritual awakening
  • Greater authenticity
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Emotional freedom
  • Improved relationships through understanding yourself & others
  • Increased energy and improved immune system
  • Overall enhanced state of wellbeing and mood
  • Better communication with others
  • Ability to set boundaries in your life
  • Cease the cycle of self-destruction

 

Before you begin shadow work

Prior to beginning your dive into the shadow – please consider a few things.

Have you developed a solid self-care practice?

Shadow work can be emotionally overwhelming, stressful, and flat out challenging.

It’s good to have a handful of healthy self-care habits and routines that you can utilise to help yourself decompress after getting into shadow work.

 

 

Begin with Inner work

When we identify the aspects of our shadow that need attention, we can begin true healing and growth.

Allow this work to encourage you and present opportunities to expand to your next personal level.

We all have parts of ourselves that we tend to hide or even ignore. Limiting beliefs or negative self-talk, grief or feelings of isolation- it varies from individual to individual.

Unpacking the aspects of our shadow self and discovering the root of its effects is part of the journey when healing or spiritually awakening.

shadow-work

Start by identifying the following:

Are there any ancestral or familial behaviours or beliefs that you’ve absorbed into your being? (Examples: racism, poverty, abuse, helplessness)

Oftentimes we inherit traits or mentalities from our family and it can develop into negativity within ourselves. When repressed or unaddressed- this becomes a part of our shadow self.

This doesn’t mean they are bad or did anything wrong (usually), but when we become aware of the patterns or beliefs we may have been programmed with – powerful healing and growth can occur.

Identify any beliefs or behaviours that you currently notice within yourself that may have been absorbed from negative family experiences or tea

Examine limiting beliefs

Do you currently operate with limiting beliefs?

Do you often think thoughts like “that could never happen for me” or “I could never achieve that” or “I grew up this way so I’ll always live this way?” If so, you may be operating from limiting beliefs.

Shadow work involves examining beliefs about ourselves and about life. When we identify areas, we may be blocking or restricting ourselves- we can begin the process of healing the shadow.

Addressing and caring for the inner child

Inner child work is one of the most powerful things I’ve discovered on my shadow work and healing journey.

It’s as simple as “talking” to your inner child. Envision yourself as a kid again, and tune into what you needed to hear or needed overall as a child. Tell yourself what you needed to hear.

Maybe it was “I love you” or “I support you” or “I’m proud of you.

Look at pictures of yourself as a child and remember what it felt like to be little. Acknowledge the innocence of your inner child and visualize connecting with yourself at that age. It might seem weird but just envisioning your current self-talking to or hugging yourself as a kid can be so healing.

Ego work

Shadow work often involves us identifying and learning from our ego.

When we identify the difference between our ego (false self) and our soul/higher self (true self) it becomes much easier to grow and heal.

The ego does the following:

  • Blame
  • Views everything as separate
  • Acts from jealousy or anger
  • Focuses on power and materialism
  • Complains
  • Blocks us with Pride
  • Denies our own need to heal or improve

The higher self does the following:

  • Accepts easily
  • Views everything as one and connected
  • Acts from a place of love
  • Is grateful, friendly and open
  • Humble
  • Appreciates simplicity
  • Tolerant
  • Acknowledges their part in things
  • Focuses on the present moment

Triggers

This is one of the hardest parts- learning how to view our triggers as teachers. 

Every time someone triggers us- they are simply pointing to something within ourselves that we need to heal.

This may be a hard one to accept, but it’s true.

If we are not triggered by something, that means we are coming from a place of understanding and are grounded and connected to our higher self.

But when someone triggers us, that means we are being shown an area within our own self that needs to be addressed.

Negative patterns and habits

Shadow work is about looking into the darker parts of ourselves. This means our negative qualities or bad habits. These things often reveal to us what needs healing.

Being able to admit and acknowledge our negative patterns and habits is a huge healing step in itself.

Watch your emotional reactions to other people

Chances are that you are triggered by some things other people do because they are unexpressed parts of yourself.

You feel anger or shame at these qualities and feelings when you see them mirrored in other people.

Make a list of qualities in a person who really annoys you. Then look at that list and see if there is anything that you relate to. If your first reaction is denial take a second look.

When you notice you feel angry at a particular behaviour ask yourself some questions about it.

  • What am I really feeling?
  • Are there other emotions tied to this feeling?
  • Does it make me think of a person or event from my past?
  • Can I identify the true root of this feeling?

You may not be able to answer these questions right away but over time they will come to you.

This can also manifest through jealously. When you see someone, who is happy and seems to have what you want and you just can’t help but hate them, you need to figure out why you are triggered by someone being happy.

Be honest

Once you start the process of shadow work you have to be honest about what you find, no matter how hard it is to admit you may be in the wrong about something.

Identifying those biases could be uncomfortable, but you will be a better and more compassionate person if you’re honest with yourself.

If you find something you don’t like in your shadow self and push it further into the dark instead of dealing with it, you are only hurting yourself.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not necessarily for the person who wronged you, it can be just for you.

You may have deep hurts living in your shadow self that you are carrying around like a weight on your chest. They lead you to unconsciously act in negative ways.

Forgiveness is a shadow work tool that lets you shed that weight. It allows you to feel better and excise some of that pain.

It’s not about changing the outside situation; it’s about changing on the inside.

shadow-work

A forgiveness method you can do to with shadow work is the Ho’oponopono method.

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian prayer that helps you repair a situation or relationship.

The mantra is “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

I’m sorry for holding onto the situation for so long.
Please forgive me for any part I played.
Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught me.
I love you

When you practice think of the person (it might be yourself) or situation you need to forgive, let those feelings come to the surface, and repeat the mantra until you feel calm and peaceful.

Shadow work can be uncomfortable. Accept the discomfort and work through it. If you hide from it

will just come back another day.

 

How to do shadow work

So we talked about what shadow work is, how to identify our shadow, things we should be aware of before and during shadow work.

Now lets go over a few things we can use to help guide us through our journey of working with our shadow self.

Identify your limiting beliefs

You shadow self holds all your self-limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are beliefs you have about yourself that hold you back from so much in life.

They might be about your self-worth, your ability to succeed at your dreams, your ability to find love, the opportunities available to you, the amount of money you can have, the type of treatment from others you allow, etc

Look at an area of your life that you’re struggling with and identify some of your limiting beliefs around it.

Practice mindfulness/meditation

Being mindful of your thoughts is an important part of shadow work because it helps you notice your inner dialog from an outsider’s perspective instead of being caught up in it.

Mindfulness lets you step outside the river of your thought so you can look at them impassively.

You can watch them float by, and when your thoughts are on the negative side you can just observe them without letting them take control and create negative feelings.

We can do a lot of powerful shadow work while in meditation. Some of my favourite shadow work to do in meditation is connecting with my inner child and identifying what she needs/needed.

Meditation is an amazing tool for learning to be mindful. I highly suggest trying the free versions of apps such as Calm and Headspace, they have beginner’s courses that will get you started.

Below is an excellent guided mediation by Aaron Abke for shadow work.

 

Shadow dialogue journaling

Journaling can  help you learn what’s at the heart of your issue, what it is that wants to be released or accepted.

Begin with any issue you’d like to resolve, though I’ve found that annoyances and insecurities as mentioned above are particularly fruitful.

You’re going to be taking on two voices in this exercise. You’re asking the questions and giving the answers in order to learn some deep truths about what’s in your shadow.

Start by briefly describing the situation and how you feel about it. Then dive in.  You can ask questions such as the following:

  • Why do I feel this way?
  • What am I trying to protect?
  • What am I afraid might happen?
  • (to your shadow) What are you trying to show me?
  • What is there to heal here?

Keep in mind that your whole being wants to heal, that is its natural trajectory. No need to force anything here.  Just relax and answer as best you can from the place of knowing within you. Do not judge what comes up. Journal away.

Related post:

Top tip:

This is an excellent journal to log your progress – Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal: Reclaim Your Wholeness

 

Therapy

I mentioned this above but sometimes we need help when diving into our wounds and our shadow self.

There are plenty of incredible and qualified (shadow work trained!) therapists out there. If you feel you need that type of support in this journey (many do) then begin your search for a therapist that fits well with you.

Don’t be afraid to talk with several and ‘interview’ them until you find the right one.

Coaching

A spiritual coach or life coach can help guide us through our shadow work and give us tools to use to empower ourselves through this process of shadow work.

I’ve had the opportunity of working with a wonderful coach who helped me to identify the parts of my shadow self that were seeking to be healed.

It’s a huge benefit to get an outsider’s perspective and advice on how to use this work to help ourselves grow and become freer to walk into our best self.

 

What is Shadow Work? – Final thoughts

Shadow work is finding those scared parts of yourself in the dark and loving them back out into the light. It is gentle and patient work.

It is not digging up past wrongdoings in order to further victimize or blame, but to free your heart from the bondage that has felt safe for so long.

It requires a level of bravery and willingness to look into the dark aspects of one’s self in order to come out on the other side more enlightened, authentic and connected to self.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SPIRITUAL GROWTH BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

shadow-work

10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be diving deep into natural grounding exercises for anxiety. Grounding exercises are a way to stabilise strong emotions during stress, anxiety or trauma. Grounding is achieved by redirecting your attention away from what is causing your stress back to something more pleasurable…

Self-Care Morning Routine Ideas – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care Morning Routine Ideas – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking you through some self-care morning routine ideas. Just imagine, the sun is rising, the curtains add an orange beam to the day, and here you are, presented with a brand-new day, a new beginning, and a fresh start. The times…

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Ultimate Guide!

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you my guide to practicing mindfulness for beginners.

Mindfulness is the act of living in the moment and being aware of your surroundings and behaviour while focusing on the now and the present.

It is a philosophy as well as a way of life that encourages active engagement and concentration on the present, taking each moment with complete command and control of your thoughts and actions.

The most basic aim of mindfulness is to bring positivity and accountability to our lives for a more immersive living experience and better control of our actions and circumstances.

It is a means of making our lives healthier and more productive by actively working towards the state we want to achieve with complete dedication.

We can easily incorporate mindfulness into our busy routines and daily life by investing some time in mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to slowly train our mind and body for the most effective application of mindfulness over time.

 

 

What is Mindfulness?

To keep it simple, being mindful means remaining present. Despite the hectic nature of our modern-day world, practicing mindfulness encourages self-awareness, acceptance, and taking in the moment. It allows you to truly focus on what you’re doing right now.

Practicing-Mindfulness-for-Beginners

Mindfulness stems from ancient Buddhist meditation teachings, but Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted the concept in 1979. Over the last few years, mindfulness has gained a lot of popularity. This may be due to more mainstream coverage, publications like Mindful, and the power of social media!

After doing some research, I also found that mindfulness is often used in therapy. This is because it’s thought to help with anxiety and stress!

 

What are the  benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness has a lot of benefits for your overall well-being. It could easily be another blog post (maybe in future) – here are a few important points.

  • Mindfulness increases focus

 We have a lot of things to cross off our to-do list every day. It would be simple if we could finish one by one easily. 

But I find that whenever I am ready to do a task, I am reminded of something else that needs to be done. It makes me anxious because it is unfinished. Then I feel the stress rising. I am not able to concentrate on the current task. 

I feel overwhelmed.

In such moments, I do a mindfulness meditation exercise (read below to see how to do it). It calms my mind and helps me relax. I am able to concentrate on the task at hand better.

Mindfulness helps you increase focus and concentration because you are making an effort to bring your attention to the present moment repeatedly. 

It even has the power to change your brain. The effect of mindfulness practice can last long even when you are not consciously doing it because new neuron connections are formed through neuroplasticity. 

It’s amazing, right?

  • Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety

When you practice mindfulness you are more aware of your thoughts. So, if any thought comes up that gives you stress you try to acknowledge it. You say to yourself “Ok. This is stressing me out. Back to the task”. So you get to respond to your  negative thoughts rather than being controlled by it. 

You can choose to step back from them as you are mindful of your emotional state. You acknowledge your thoughts and you are able to respond rather than react to it.

  • Mindfulness improves physical health

 Research has proved that our brain has the ability to influence the body’s inflammatory responses. Our brain and immune system are interconnected.

Mindfulness meditation can be used as a pathway to train our brain to control stress reaction and prevent a lot of stress based diseases.

It also improves your memory retention, promotes heart health, improves the quality of sleep, etc.

But how do you become more mindful? How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life? Read on.

 

Why practice mindfulness?

Over the years, many benefits of mindfulness have been scientifically proven. For example, being mindful improves your mood and enhances your creativity and it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also makes you more focused as you train your brain to remove distractions and concentrate on one task.

But Mindfulness also helps you to slow down and stop rushing, to stop dwelling on the past but focusing on the present. You’ll notice that you’re enjoying the little moments and appreciating life more, because you’re actively concentrating on being in the moment.

 

 What are Mindfulness techniques?

Mindfulness isn’t always about meditation. It can be very easily incorporated with daily activities.

However, practicing Mindfulness Meditation can certainly help in bringing the focus back to the present moment. Thus, making mindfulness, a part of the lifestyle.

Mindfulness-for-Beginners

So, what are Mindfulness techniques?

Mindfulness techniques are any activity or practice that you perform in a mindful way.

Now, you can perform everything in a mindful way. But there are some activities that are easier to be mindful in than others.

And it’s these mindful activities that I am going to share in this post.

Now let’s jump into the details of the Mindfulness techniques that you can implement into your everyday life!

Top tip:

Some great channels from YouTube that I use for mindfulness, are as followed:

 

 

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Ultimate Guide!

 

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is practiced by focusing the mind on the present and keeping your thoughts from wandering into the past and future. It focuses on breath awareness to draw attention to your body, open up your senses and anchor you into the present and your immediate surroundings.

  • Sit comfortably with your upper body straight but do not stiffen.
  • Relax and pay attention to what every part of your body is doing like how your legs are positioned and where your arms lay.
  • You may close your eyes if you need help getting more focused and relaxed, but it’s not necessary.
  • Gently inhale and exhale, getting into the rhythm of your breath noticing how each part of your body reacts and what you’re currently feeling.
  • Open your eyes and with a soft gaze, notice your surroundings using your senses, without allowing your mind to wander. See your surroundings and free yourself of any judgment.

 

 

Conscious breathing

There’s no need to wait until stress rises to use breathing methods for well-being. You experience balance and harmony when your breaths are of equal length and depth.

As inhaling and exhaling uniformly are the natural response to inner peace, your brain thinks you are relaxed even when you breathe this way intentionally. Take deep, even breaths throughout the day to preserve well-being.

 

Don’t judge or react to your thoughts

Our minds can run away with themselves. Reacting to these thoughts can cause anxiety and stress. We can feel guilty or ashamed of our thoughts. But what if we just allowed those thoughts to pass gently? Without judging them as they arise?

Take a few minutes to focus on your thoughts. Notice them coming and going without judging and labelling. If you do judge or react to any thoughts, acknowledge that, and then gently let the thought pass.

Being mindful in this way helps you to develop an awareness and understanding of how your thoughts affect you, and how you can better control your thoughts every day.

 

Awareness of your bodily sensations

So often we live in our heads and we completely forget about our body, unless of course, we are in distress.

And here’s the problem:

We think that our mind is completely separate from our physical body.

But it’s not.

To become aware of your body, send your breath to different parts and acknowledge those body parts.

  • Notice the tingling in your fingers
  • Release the stress in your stomach
  • Become aware of the top of your head and the tension in your neck

Becoming aware of your body will bring you into the present moment. It will fine-tune your senses and quiet the mind.

 

 

Noticing your thoughts

Whenever you are meditating, it’s normal that thoughts will enter your mind and sometimes your mind may wander – that’s okay. But, whenever you notice a thought, not just in mediation, just observe it, acknowledge it, and then let it pass. And bring your attention back to your breath.

 

Tune into your emotions

Move your focus inside your body and try to notice any emotions you can feel in your body. Maybe some anxiety in our chest, fear in your stomach or happiness in your heart. If you notice something, just observe the sensation. Is it heavy or light? What shape is it? Is it moving? Does it have a colour? Is it changing?

Spend as long as you like just observing the feeling. And if you can’t notice anything, that’s okay as well. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just try it again next time.

 

Tune into your touch

Start by noticing the sensation of the air on your nostrils. Observe the temperature as it enters and leaves – does it change? Then move to your face, can you feel a breeze or any other sensations on your face?

Now, try to feel your hair touching your head. And then focus on your shirt touching your shoulders, your bottom touching the seat and your hands touching your lap.

And finally, focus on your feet and feel them connecting with the ground.

 

Tune into your hearing

Focus all your attention on your hearing – what sounds can you notice? Start with the sounds close to you and work your way further out. When you notice these sounds, just observe them. Notice the way they appear and disappear into silence.

 

Tune into your smell

Take a few deep breaths and focus on your sense of smell. What smells can you notice in the air?

 

Tune into your taste

What tastes are in your mouth? Maybe you will notice saliva and need to take a swallow.

 

Softly open your eyes and blue your vision

Slightly open your eyes so you are squinting and your vision is blurred. Don’t sharpen your focus on anything, just notice the different shapes and colours and how wide your field of vision is. Tune into your sense of vision for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes again and bring your attention back to your breathing.

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

A great mindfulness activity for just before bed is progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves taking a moment to check in with your body by paying attention to how it feels, one muscle group at a time. This involves lying down and then clenching or flexing your toes for ten seconds or so and then releasing.

Focus on how the area feels and then move up to flex your ankle and your calves. This can be very relaxing but it can also help you to identify areas that might need a good stretch or a light massage.

 

Take a mindful walk

Being in nature is one of the easiest ways for me to be mindful in everyday life.

Mindfulness-for-Beginners

I regularly take my dog for a walk over the local lake.  When I’m there, I take deep breaths, taking in the fresh air. I listen to the sounds, watch the birds, and I enjoy the smells. Depending on what weather it is, the lake always smells differently.

If you don’t have the luxury of local lake, try take a walking break during the day and go to a park or the woods/forest. Notice everything around you and enjoy. You’ll return to everyday life recharged and with a fresh mind.

 

Doing laundry, washing dishes & cleaning

Try dishwashing, cleaning and doing laundry a little bit slower than you usually do, focus your entire attention on what you’re doing and be aware of your body movements.

Pay attention to when your mind wanders, go back to what you’re doing and become aware of your body movements.

Repeat if necessary. Pay attention to possible after-effects.

 

Take a mindful shower

Being mindful doesn’t require much effort. You can be mindful with every little task. Try to take a mindful shower. Feel the water touching your skin and notice the temperature of the water.

Focus on smell of the soap, it will give a calming effect. Listen as the water hits your skin and falls on the floor. Touch your skin and notice what this is like for you.

Pay attention to your feelings. Do fresh? Be aware of your thoughts and feelings as you do this. This will also enhance the need to care for yourself, which is a very good practice for your personal wellbeing.

 

Observation exercise

Choose something small, like a stone, a leaf or a flower. If you can hold it in your hands and take a good look at it and try to observe everything about it. Focus all of your attention on it.

Notice the items appearance, what size is it? what shape is it? What colours can you see? Does the item have different textures?

Do not assess the item or judge it just observe it for what it is.

 

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Final thought

I can’t tell you that your life will change instantly but I can tell you how my life has changed.

Since I began practicing Mindfulness I have become so much more aware. I’m aware of other people’s feelings, I notice the beauty in life and because of this I can appreciate this life a lot more.

I don’t let the little things get to me so much, I can take a breath and realise that I don’t need to react to this situation.

In reality my life hasn’t changed, the things that used to stress me out are still there for the main part. It’s how I choose to respond to these stressors that is different. The change is within me, not life that happens around me.

That’s the beauty of Mindfulness you don’t need to take on the world, just yourself.

I would recommend to anyone to give Mindfulness a try. If you have already began the practice, how is it going for you?  Do you have any other Mindfulness activities you would like to share? I look forward to hearing them.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MINDFULNESS BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

Mindfulness-for-Beginners

 

 

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