In my last post, No One Best Treatment, I spoke about my path to finding a treatment plan that works for me and my current treatment plan. One of the major components of my treatment plan is mindfulness practices including meditation and yoga. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
My first exposure to mindfulness was during one of my counseling sessions and I practiced a short breath meditation and felt calmer and more in control of my thoughts. This initial exposure piqued my interest in mindfulness and when I found out that my school offered a Mindful Leadership course, I knew I wanted to enroll. While enrolled in this course I read Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book and learned about the effects of mindfulness – both physical and mental effects. I learned how to do breath meditations, full-body scan meditations, hatha yoga meditations, and many others forms of meditations from Full Catastrophe Living. Of these three meditations I listed, hatha yoga quickly became my go-to meditation because of the active physical component of it.
My favorite part of mindfulness and the reason I believe it works so well for me is that it is something that I can do by myself, as often as I want. For me knowing that I can start my day with a quick 5-minute hatha yoga or breath mediation makes me feel like I am in control of not only my treatment plan but also my life. I get to choose what I am in the mood for and how much or how little I want to do.
Mindfulness practices can be easily incorporated into anyone’s life! The first step to being mindful is learning more about mindfulness. Please visit this link if you are interested in learning more about mindfulness. Until next time, I encourage you to try this simple 5-minute breath mediation and share your experience below.