Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mindful breathing

So today I heard my mindfulness bell go off right before I got in the shower.  The mindfulness bell is a great tool I downloaded from this website:  You can set it to chime randomly or at certain times.  I leave my computer on most of the time and have it set to chime randomly every  hour.  The bell serves as a reminder to take a moment to simply be in the present moment.  I usually do this by taking 30 seconds or so to focus on my breathing.  Now I have a pretty active mind -- I'm constantly thinking about something.  The idea of trying to focus your mind on whatever is happening in the present moment is very difficult for most people because the mind instinctively wanders; this is definitely the case for me.  It helps for me to have words I can repeat in my mind while I'm breathing; this gives my mind something active to do and helps to prevent it from wandering.  When I practice mindful breathing I close my eyes.  While I inhale I say in my mind, "Breathing in, I breathe in."  As I exhale I say to myself, "Breathing out, I breathe out."  This helps me to fully focus on my breath, which grounds me in the present moment.  What a refreshing way to start the day!

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