May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there's no better time than the present to learn how to become more mindful and learn to be less stressed, peaceful and relaxed. Sounds good right? Morgan Sheets, a certified holistic well-being coach and massage therapist, sat down with Angela Ganote to discuss how that can be achieved.
What is mindfulness?
- Mindfulness is simply being conscious and aware in the moment and accepting and acknowledging what is going on in your body and environment. Anybody can do it, anywhere, anytime. It doesn't cost a cent to do.
Program mindful minutes into your day.
- This is a technique that I use with my busy, high achieving, high stress clients and it really helps them make big shifts in how they feel, without having to invest too much time. It sounds so simple that you may want to dismiss it, I invite you to try it for a week before you do.
Here's how to implement your mindful minutes. Take the times during your day when you feel the most stressed and implement a mindful minute. Set a timer on your phone and simply sit and breathe evenly and deeply in and out for a full minute focusing on your breath, how your feet feel on the ground and the sensations in your body and the environment around you. Allow yourself to become deeply and fully present. I suggest implementing these 2-3 times throughout your day. With repetition you'll begin to break your stress habit and feel more peace and calm in your day. Break your stress and worry habit through reprogramming your mind. Stress, anxiety and worrying are habits that can be changed. Often times I hear people accept living that way as something that's just a way of life, but it doesn't have to be.
Break the habit.
- Here's how to break the habit. Take the times during your day when you're doing an unconscious automatic habit or task - for example brushing your teeth, folding laundry, washing dishes, taking a shower, driving your car and use that time to practice mindfulness. Become present to the moment you're in and begin to notice your thoughts. As you notice them, choose thoughts that make you feel better.
For example, let's say you're driving to work and noticing everyone's poor driving, frustrated about the traffic, thinking about all you have to do that day, worrying you're going to be late. You're tension, stress and anxiety are all on the rise and you probably are feeling it in your body. Instead, use that time to look around and find things you like. Maybe it's the spring flowers blooming, or a funny billboard or look for someone having fun singing and dancing in their car. We get to choose what we focus on and what we choose to think about and look for. Think about how good it will feel to do your job well and how you'll make your clients happy. Think about how you add a little bit of value and goodness to the world through having a good attitude and doing your job well.
Taking the time to use your automatic habits and tasks to reprogram your mind to focus on feeling good, peaceful and relaxed will begin to overflow into the rest of your life. And in time, you'll transform from being stressed, anxious and worried all the time to peaceful and relaxed.
Morgan is a holistic well-being coach and massage therapist and if you would like more information, click here.