Mindfulness meditation

Being Still

We live in a culture that promotes the idea that our productivity is directly correlated to our self-worth. When we fall prey to this logic, we can find ourselves in constant pursuit of…. anything and everything. We have somehow lost an appreciation and value for stillness. 

You are NOT determined by your productivity!

Here are strategies to help your practice increasing your value for stillness:

  1. Practice mindfulness: Meditation is the most commonly known strategy in practicing mindfulness. When we practice meditation, we focus on the current moment and sensations. While other thoughts interfere, we learn to acknowledge and then release them in the striving to focus on the NOW. One app I refer clients to is Calm, a strong liaison to train you in meditation.   https://www.calm.com

  2. Make time: Assign a time to practice mindfulness.There will always be a distraction, something to engage you before meditation. The irony lies in our scheduling: we commit non-negotiably to work meetings, and yet time for meditation/ mindfulness becomes fluid. Commit yourself to a time of day at which you practice meditation or mindfulness to ensure consistent follow through.
  3. Fight for it. When prioritizing stillness, it means creating a time and space conducive to stillness. Meditation is difficult to practice when surrounded by chaos. Find a space and a time that works. As a mother of three, I sometimes have to fight for these moments. It means saying ‘no’ to them and yes to myself. It means wearing noise-canceling headphones while closing my eyes and sitting on the deck in the mornings while the children ride their bikes in the driveway. Ask yourself: Am I fighting for stillness? It won’t come to you. You have to seek it to make it happen.
  4. Breathe: When triggered to feel intense stress, breathe. Focus on your breathing. This serves multiple purposes. Firstly, focusing on your breathing is a mindful experience. Secondly, there is a science behind using breathing for mindfulness. When you take deep breaths, you allow the body to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain, thereby stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system response which prompts one to feel calm. God designed your body to induce calm. You simply need to activate it by doing it with intention. 
  5. Ground yourself. Grounding means paying attention to your current sensory experiences. When I am overwhelmed at home, sometimes I just step outside to feel the breeze, hear the birds, and close my eyes. This grounds me in a sensory capacity. Here is a link to a sensory grounding exercise, provided by Therapy in a Nutshell.

So make a priority of practicing being still. Practice it to get better at it. Make time for it. Fight for it to be a priority. Use breathing and grounding to engage mindfulness. You are worth it. 

Eileen Dummer
Eileen Dummer MA, LPCC

Eileen earned her Masters of Art degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Adler Graduate School in Richfield, MN after obtaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology and French from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Eileen’s professional experience has included assessment and therapeutic intervention work with pediatric and well as adult clients. As a licensed professional clinical counselor, Eileen uses a frame work of family systems and cognitive behavioral therapy. Read More

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