You finally got home after a long day. Grabbed some dinner and now you just want to hang out and relax. But your mind is racing a mile a minute and you feel like you should be going in 6 different directions. You’re stressed about what you didn’t get done at work and worried about your child not bringing home a straight A report card (after all, if he gets a B in 7th grade he may not get into the college of your choice).
What to do?
Experiment with mindfulness. Mindfulness lets you focus on NOW and only this moment. You’re not day dreaming or tuning out, rather you’re tuning in. You’re paying purposeful attention to your thoughts, feelings, and body in the moment and without judgment. This focused attention on the present moment leaves you no space for stressing about something that’s now in the past or worrying about things that have yet to happen.
In a quiet place, sit comfortably. Breathe deeply. Focus on your breath. Feel your breath move in and out of your body. Pay attention to your nose as air passes in and out. Notice the way your abdomen rises and falls with each breath. When your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention to your breath. Don’t judge yourself. You’re simply becoming aware of what’s happening around you, breath by breath.