The demands of modern day life produce stress. When the body is exposed to stress for prolonged periods it may become exhausted and in short supply. Mindfulness is a valuable and important way of assisting the body to gently return to optimal vitality.(See Stress-article of Liizl Miller of March 2014 on Naturopathic website).
Mindfulness is present moment awareness and alertness. It is about being fully present, connecting with ourselves and appreciating the fullness of each moment of life. Mindfulness helps us to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of becoming overwhelmed by them, we can manage the discomfort of stress more effectively. Mindfulness is a combination of meditation and breathing- you can exercise it by sitting quietly for a while and by being aware of your breathing and thoughts.
Mindful breathing is the basis of every mindfulness exercise. You can try the following exercise at home:
Notice every breath.
1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
2. Use the muscles of your abdomen to empty all the air out of your lungs for a few breaths and allow them to fill naturally again.
3. Allow your breathing to find its own rhythm whilst noticing the
* rise and fall of your shoulders
* the expansion and contraction of your abdomen
* the sensation of air entering and exiting through your nose or mouth
4. Continue to breathe and notice the silence created by the gap between breaths. Allow your thoughts to come and go without getting lost in them.
A study on Mindfulness-based stress reduction did not find a significant relationship between increased mindfulness and improved physical health. It is therefore very important to combine mindfulness exercises with therapy to be able to connect with repressed information and stressors. This can assist the client to achieve balance on a physiological and psychological level.
Please see my website: www.lmiller.co.za for more information on the SHIP® psychotherapeutic approach as a means to deal with psychological healing and growth in a holistic approach.
1. JOS. 1998. SHIP® Overview.
2. Woman & Home (2014, April). Mindfulness: The big new secret to a calmer,
happier life. Woman & Home, 102-104.
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki.minfulness-based_stress_reduction. Mindfulness- based stress reduction.
Dr. Marike de Klerk