15 April 2013

M is for...

It's day thirteen of the A to Z Challenge!
We've made it halfway!

Today's topic is Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the focus of awareness and attention, based on mindfulness in Buddhist meditation. D is for DBT post? Well, Mindfulness is one module in DBT. It's also a major component of Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Essentially, he took research on the efficacy of mindfulness as a healing technique a step further. You can read more about Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction here.

Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment, to live fully in the moment to have a higher quality of life. You can eat mindfully (by chewing each bite slowly and thoroughly before swallowing), clean mindfully (by focusing wholly on the task), or breathing mindfully.

Here's an easy, mindful breathing exercise you can try:

Sit comfortably, relaxing your posture. Take a deep breath, in through your nose and out of your mouth. Feel your belly expand as your breath expands your diaphragm.
Now, count as you slowly inhale: 1......2......3......4.......
Hold your breath for the same 4 count: 1......2......3......4.......
Exhale slowly, doing your 4 count: 1......2......3......4.......
Hold your breath again for a 4 count: 1......2......3......4.......

Repeat the pattern for 2-3 minutes.

This is a simple and easy way to start to develop a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness will relax the body, reduce stress, boost your immune system. You'll think more clearly and feel more present in your life.

Disclaimer: This is such a skimming of the surface of what mindfulness is and how it benefits. If it seems interesting to you, I strongly encourage you to read Jon Kabat-Zinn, Tara Brach, and Thich Nhat Hanh.


  1. I think we all can use a reminder to sit still and take slow deep breaths. Only today while we do it, be 'mindful' of the people in Boston.

  2. Mindfulness is one of my healing graces.

  3. I have been doing mindful practice for several years now. It becomes second nature after awhile. :)
    A to Z April Blogging Challenge

  4. Ellen,

    I would personally be a disaster without some mindfulness!

  5. Debra,

    Thanks so much for the visit! That kind of practice absolutely makes it second nature and more natural.