We can begin to learn to become more willing with different sensations and emotions by practicing with our breath. As we learn to make room for urges, emotions and sensations, we offer ourselves more choices in life to live by our values. Please read the disclaimer at the beginning of the video. Only participate if it is safe for you to do so. If you are unsure, please speak with your physician.
Getting present is so important because it allows us to not dwell on the past or future, or to only feel strong sensations (such as chronic pain). Instead it allows us to take in our whole experience. This is extremely beneficial for people with chronic pain and illness, and it take A LOT of practice (for example it took me around 3 years to get good at this). This is one mindfulness practice that you can use.
If you’re interested in more mindfulness, I recently started a new YouTube channel called Kelsey L Harris Meditations, where you can find this and more meditations!
This mindful stretching exercise is from Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training Manual. The point is to focus on your breath and movement while doing a stretch that allows you to “reach for the stars.” Mindfulness can be done in many ways, and stretching (and yoga) is one of them! If you’re having trouble with mindfulness meditation, I suggest starting with these types of practices first. There are two versions in the video, one standing and the other sitting so this is accessible to everyone!
For more on the benefits of stretching, check out my podcast episode with Danielle Potvin here. And for more on the benefits of mindfulness for health, check out that episode here. Until next week, keep making the most of it!
Diaphragmatic breathing has a lot of health benefits including for COPD, stress management and anxiety, and lowering heart rate and blood pressure. It is also what is used in progressive muscle relaxation, which is an excellent mindfulness exercise for anxiety and mental health. This is a good place to start if you haven’t yet done the progressive muscle relaxation that I posted awhile back. I hope after this practice you feel calm and relaxed.
If you like these mindfulness practices, I also guide them in the first two episodes of my podcast. Here are the links for Apple Podcasts. The podcast is available on Spotify and everywhere you get your podcasts. And if you’re using Apple, please submit a review as it would help me continue to bring you amazing content!