It’s Monday. How many of you are already feeling anxious or overwhelmed about all you need to complete today? Are you already anticipating the weekend? An upcoming project? Managing childcare changes and work? Our future oriented culture perpetuates these concerns. For example, since the end of September we’ve already seen television and radio commercials promoting holiday shopping and we had yet to experience Halloween. Want to slow down the pace and be present? MAKE IT A MINDFUL MONDAY.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps us remain present and in the moment. It is a way of checking in with ourselves and slowing down. Being mindful has many health benefits as well, as it promotes proper transportation of oxygen to all parts of our body, reduces our stress hormone cortisol, and helps us to feel more at ease.
The practice of mindfulness begins by bringing awareness to our breath. So you if you notice yourself feeling stressed, experiencing racing thoughts, etc., take a moment to bring awareness to your breathing:
Step one: sit comfortably in a chair.
Step two: close your eyes or focus on an object in the room.
Step three: take a deep breath in through your nose. Envision this breath going all the way down into your belly.
Step four: hold this breath for 2 seconds.
Step five: push the breath out through your mouth.
Do this three to four times and notice how you feel. Notice any shifts in your body, in your mood, etc. Enjoy the day.
About the Author
Dr. Cristina Dorazio is a New York State licensed psychologist and owner of her private practice, Unity Psychological Consulting, PLLC. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and her specialties include: women’s reproductive health, couples counseling, mindfulness, and career coaching. You can find more information about her practice at: www.unitypsych.org.