Have you ever felt exhausted by the hustle and bustle of life? Can’t think or focus one thing anymore? Mindfulness 101 can help. Modern life demands a certain degree of multi-tasking as a requirement for the 21st century productive worker and many struggle to strike a balance between commitments. It can be hard to focus when the mind is drawn apart in multiple directions. Even at night, when the body tries to give in, the mind remains relentless- thinking through multiple events of the day; all the things done and undone; and cannot quiet down. The result is poor sleep and another day of poor productivity. The power to be mindful and be present at the moment may be one’s greatest asset and each one of us will be helped by being more mindful at whatever we do. And the good news is- it can be learned.
The solution is easy and can be reached. One simple and easy way is to practice mindfulness meditation. If practiced for a short time, as few as ten minutes in a day, it can work wonders to join our distracted mind. Mindfulness is a kind of meditation where one becomes mindful of the present moment. It’s living in “here and now” and training the mind to stop dwelling in the past or jumping to the future.
Research has consistently associated numerous physical and mental benefits associated with mindfulness. To name few- mindfulness can help to treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep and digestion. Mindfulness also helps in the treatment of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsiveness, and anxiety.
How is Mindful Exercise Done?
The goal is to relax the mind and detoxify the body with 101 breadths. This exercise may be practiced once or twice a day for about ten minutes. One can take a break during the busy day and go for a walk or sit down at a quiet place and practice Mindfulness 101. A relaxed, de-stressed body is the perfect abode for health and healing. Above all, it’s liberating to slow down, relax, and marvel at the rhythmic cycles of breathing and life itself.
Step 1: Breathing – Eyes may be closed to focus better on the inner experiences; however, mindfulness 101 can be done while walking with eyes open. Begin by inhaling as deeply and as slowly as you can and feel your belly expand with this incoming air. Pause and hold for a split second, then exhale through the nose and feel the belly shrink to expel out the air.
Step 2: Counting – Mindfulness 101 works best when there is a goal and time limit. Begin to count each breadth and count till 101. Use any comfortable posture that you prefer, whether you are lying flat on a yoga mat, sitting on a chair, or taking a walk outside. If possible, an outdoor setting is best as you can inhale oxygen rich fresh air.
Check back often for more tips from Dr.Paul, staff psychiatrist at DeKalb CSB. Learn more about Mindfulness 101 here. DeKalb Community Service Board provides substance abuse services for adults and offers mental health services to children, adolescents and adults. Our staff of physicians, nurses, clinicians and support personnel is dedicated to helping our clients and their families recover and resume productive lives. View a list of services offered here.
Dr. Panchajanya Paul, MD, ABIHM, ABPN, is an American Board certified - Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He holds adjunct faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine; University of Georgia & Georgia Regents University, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine. He is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta.
DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB) is an innovative, community-based behavioral health and developmental disabilities services organization located in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, offering a full range of mental health services, developmental disabilities programs and substance abuse treatment to more than 11,000 citizens annually who are uninsured and under insured. As a public, not-for-profit organization, the DeKalb CSB operates more than 20 locations in DeKalb County with a diverse workforce of more than 500 direct-care and support staff.