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  • Sara

Choosing The Best Form of Mindfulness for You

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

The term mindfulness encompasses a variety of different practices all centered around a common goal. The goal of mindfulness is to gain focus and destress while connecting with self at a deeper level, which can be done in a variety of ways. These techniques include body scanning, grounding, mindfulness meditation, mindful breathing, visualization, and mindful movement. Having a variety of practices available to you makes it easy to practice mindfulness should you decide you want to embark on a journey that will naturally improve your mental health.



Let’s take a close look at a few of the options:


Grounding

Grounding is the practice of using techniques to ground oneself in the moment. Grounding is especially helpful when an individual is feeling extreme anxiety or even panic. It involves focusing on one’s surroundings and the here and now. One way to do this is to use all five senses to identify what’s in the room. Five Sense Grounding is a technique in which a person identifies five things they can see, four things they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell and one thing in the room they can taste. Focusing on these things and these things only can center the mind and ease anxious thoughts.


Body scanning

Body scanning is a great way to release physical and mental tension, focusing your mind on your body instead of any racing thoughts you may be experiencing. The practice is great to do either when you wake up or before you go to bed, when you’re still lying down. It does require a few minutes of time, but it can also be done in a variety of settings without others taking notice. You can listen to a guided practice or close your eyes and bring awareness to different parts of your body while controlling your breathing. Start at the top of your head and gradually move to the tips of your toes, noting any tension in each part of the body and engaging in deep breathing to release it.


Mindful meditation

This is a type of meditation that often requires more time and an environment where you can sit or lay down in a distraction-free environment while focusing on your breath and making small observations about yourself or surroundings. This can be done by yourself or through guided meditation. Basically, the practice involves taking note of your thoughts as they pass while engaging in breathwork – just noticing each thought and letting it pass without judgement. As you do so, you’ll want to try to bring the mind back to your breathing, which will eventually allow you to more easily be able to center your thoughts during other times throughout your day.


Visualization

This is a great way to focus your attention somewhere else when the environment you’re in is increasing your stress level. Visualization can be done in two different ways. You can either choose a place or event that makes you calm or happy to focus on while slowly breathing or use a guided visualization someone else has prepared. These mediations may take you to a variety of settings, so you’ll want to choose only those that are relaxing. Either method is a great way to destress and allow yourself some time to focus on something that calms your mind. However, identifying a space on your own in which you can return to time and again without having to rely on a guided practice is more convenient when you’re away from home.


Mindful Movement

This mindfulness practice requires you to tune into your emotions and physical well-being while moving your body. This can be practiced while taking a walk, hiking, riding your bike, etc. Or it can be done by moving your body according to a guided practice. Moving in a way that feels enjoyable is key to practicing this type of mindfulness. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by feeling of awkwardness or inability. You’ll want to instead tune into how freeing the movement feels. You can do this by focusing on the sensations you feel in your body while moving, as well as what your senses are experiencing.


No matter what mindfulness practice you choose to implement, doing so will bring more peace to your life. It is so counterintuitive in today’s society to focus on, and care for, ourselves. All too often, we’re so focused on tending to the needs of everyone else, whether it be the needs of a child or spouse or a supervisor at work, that we disregard our own health. The great thing about mindfulness is that it is flexible, and you can choose multiple different ways to practice it in order to heal the mind and body, and create more balance in your life.

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