In this episode, I discuss:
what mindfulness is and how it has completely changed my life
the benefits of practising mindfulness
some typical and not-so-typical ways of practising mindfulness
a short mindfulness exercise to centre and come back to the present
Welcome to the Mindful Soul Collective Podcast, a safe space for your healing.
I'm your host Shorina, a counsellor, well-being coach, multi-bus owner and mum.
I'm here to talk all things mind, body and soul.
You can expect conversations on mental health, mindfulness, mindset, healing and whole body wellness.
I've completely redefined my relationship to myself and to my life.
And now it's your turn.
Hello and welcome back to the podcast.
Today's episode is something that is very, very close to my heart. I feel very passionate about and I love to talk about honestly and that is mindfulness. I have briefly touched on it in core pillar episodes and honestly it's been slipped into probably pretty much every episode anyway because it is such a big part of my work. But I did want to dive deeper into it and kind of explore that because I am constantly learning more and more and I want to share that with you guys.
So let's start off with what the hell is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply being aware of the present moment without judgment or shame. It's enjoying what's happening right here, right now. You're not worrying about the past.
You're not worrying about the future. It's just all about the present. It's allowing feelings to exist without letting them take over. It's letting thoughts go as easily as they come and it's accepting our current circumstances with love, compassion, kindness. This is really about sitting in this very moment right here, right now. It is really as simple as just being in the moment.
I once had a counselor who said that nothing can ever actually be wrong if you're in the
present moment and we can know that that's the truth because that's where we are.
We're meant to be there. If we weren't meant to be there, we wouldn't be there. So the present moment would always be the most comforting and safe place to be. We experience that present moment with mindfulness.
I'm not sure if I'm 100% believe that entirely because I do think there are some things thatcan go wrong in the present moment. Like if we're talking about capital T, traumas, lack of sexual assault, abuse, injuries, things like that, obviously those things, I disagree with based on that. But I loved the sentiment of it and it's kind of stuck with me for quite some time and I wanted to share it in today's episode because I thought I may resonate with someone listening because I wanted to trust that and deliver that.
From a research point of view, mindfulness has been shown to help people manage stress, depression, addiction and anxiety. It's also been shown to help with some health conditions such as chronic pain. And from a personal point of view, mindfulness has changed my life. I incorporate mindfulness into my day to day life by using lots of tools and techniques and I don't want to over complicate things in today's episode. My favorite and most common tools and techniques I do use, which I've spoken about before,
I'll continue speaking about and loving and honoring and encouraging you guys to do and they are meditation, yoga and journaling.
But I also use mindfulness when I am sitting in traffic or going for a walk or doing the
Since I've incorporated mindfulness into my day to day life, I can now recognise when anger, stress or anxiety is building up and I can actively begin to let that go or stop
it before I'm overwhelmed. I can now enjoy the small moments of time with my family and by myself and just in life in general. I can go months without needing any pain relief for my chronic back pain. I sleep so, so much better in terms of longer hours of sleep and the quality of the sleep I'm having. And I can now heal any parts of my past that trigger me in the moment.
This is a tool that we will learn and we will strengthen over time. It's going to take practice to be able to add it to your day to day life, but if you commit to utilising mindfulness, your life is never going to be the same and that is a promise. I know that some people are probably listening or even hear other people talk about mindfulness and they think, ah shit, another thing I should be doing and that people encourage to do and I don't have the time anyway and I get it. This is actually one of the easiest things to slip into your day.
There are a billion ways you can practice mindfulness and I am going to give some more
examples soon, but practicing mindfulness isn't about adding something more to your
to-do list. It's about becoming present in the things you're already doing.
You can become more present in just about any activity by just using your senses.
So like I said before, I love to practice mindfulness when I'm going for a walk. So I go, I don't have earphones in, maybe I'll leave my phone at home and I just walk. I notice the warmth of the sun of my skin. I notice the smell of beautiful flowers. I notice all the wonderful colours in the sky. I watch trees move. Or another example is, you know, when I'm doing the dishes, I don't have a dishwasher unfortunately, so we still hand wash. But when I do the washes, I feel the warmth of the water against my skin. I smell the scent of the dishwashing liquid and I watch the bubbles and feel the bubbles pop against my skin and the cutlery and the dishes.
Some of the most typical ways to practice mindfulness when it's something you're going
to add to your routines rather than incorporate it in those day-to-day tasks are meditating
like I already said, chanting or using mantras. And then there's also mindful eating or driving. So again, those mindful eating is about just recognising the textures, the tastes, the smells, the colours. Like just pay attention. What do you actually notice in the moment with all of your senses? But I also did want to offer up a few, not so typical ways to practice mindfulness as well because they can be a bit more fun too.
So some not so typical ways of practicing mindfulness is watching a candle flicker.
It could be opening a window and just noticing the warmth of the sun and wind against your skin. It could be colouring in with your kids. It could be right now, notice what's touching your skin. For me, I can feel the desk beneath my hands. I feel the seat beneath my legs and feet because my legs are crossed. I have terrible posture at the desk. I feel a soft blanket on the back of the chair. You could also practice mindfulness by watching clouds moving the sky, by blowing bubbles and watching them pop in the air as they float away or sitting in the shower and feeling the water run over your skin.
Again guys, mindfulness doesn't need to be something else you have to add to your to-do list. If you are adding more and more and more in your busy, you're not actually going to be mindful when you're doing the thing anyway. It can just be as simple as being present and aware in the moment, in whatever you're doing.
So many people miss out on happiness in their day-to-day lives because they're too busy
rushing around to notice it. They're running from one errand to another, one meeting to another, one appointment to another, one thing to another always and I get it. I do it.
I'm guilty of this. I put my hand up. Yes, it's me.
But when we do that, we're forgetting to stop and witness the magic around us.
The magic in flowers blooming, in children playing, in the smiles of loved ones, in the
stories from the elderly, in the clouds moving, in the animals just being. What would happen if we all just slowed down and were more mindful and present? What if we all just stopped and witnessed the magic within our life? What would we notice that we've never noticed before? Before we close out today's episode, I wanted to do a little mindfulness exercise to become aware of the current moment and help you recognise the impact that mindfulness can bring in our life.
So take a few moments to centre and we will begin to explore more fully the current moment.
Take notice of how you're feeling.
Are you taking shallow breaths?
Do you feel overwhelmed or stressed?
What's coming up for you within your mind, your body, your soul?
Thoughts, circumstances, situations, even your life itself.
They all pass.
They all shift in and out of the moment, in and out of awareness, but the present is
The present moment simply is.
It is all that it is.
When you move into the present, you step back from your mind.
Your thoughts slow.
You find more space, you become clearer and more alive.
The world becomes more vibrant, more colorful, more interesting.
You may find yourself marvelling at the beauty of whatever is there for you in that moment.
It's a sensation that finally you are awake.
You are alive.
You can become aware of this moment as effortlessly as you can become aware of your breath.
And remember the breath is a symbol.
It is a pointer.
Explore now that sensation to where it points.
Centre your awareness on everything that is right now.
And to do this you create a trigger, you tap your thumb to your index finger.
And when you tap, you centre, reminding yourself every few seconds to come back to this moment.
Let this be a reminder to focus.
Add a word to help you, so each time you tap, repeat peace.
And continue this practice tapping every few seconds, remembering over and over again the feeling of mindfulness and peace.
And after a few moments, release the tap that continue to focus, continue to centre.
Be here now, listening to my voice.
Notice your breath coming in through your lungs, down to your belly.
And then notice that same breath arising throughout your body and out through your mouth.
Notice if there are any sounds you can hear beyond my voice.
Notice any sensations throughout your body.
And take a final last breath.
And if your eyes were closed, open them now.
If they were open, great.
How are you feeling now? Are you feeling calmer, lighter, more centered, grounded?
Are you feeling more mindful of your own body, emotions and how you're feeling? If you're not, that's okay. Go back, try the practice again. But I'm guessing you are feeling a lot better. And that is the magic of mindfulness. That is why I do the work that I do.
That's why it's so important to me and my work and my clients.
I hope you enjoyed today's episode and it was helpful. I hope you learned something and I hope you can go out and be more mindful in your day-to-day activities. And if it feels good for you, add one of those beautiful practices like meditation or journaling or breath work or mindful eating. But if you're too busy or you don't want to add something else to your to-do list, just add mindfulness to whatever task you're doing.
So lots of love and support and we will talk next week.
With love & support,
Shorina | Mindful Soul Collective
Counsellor & Wellbeing Coach