August is National Wellness Month and with school-based professionals preparing for their students’ return across the nation, we wanted to highlight how you could practice mindfulness this school year.
Overall wellness including environmental, mental, physical, social, spiritual, financial, intellectual, and occupational, can positively affect your overall quality of life. Mindfulness can help improve your mental wellness so read on to learn how you can be more mindful this school year.
What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Mindfulness has long been supported by medical experts and professionals because when we create space for ourselves, we let our emotions and thoughts run their natural course. As a result, we adapt to our surroundings more organically and react more productively.
It’s all too easy to allow toxic notions to run wild, which underscores the significance of remaining in the present. If you are inexperienced with mindfulness, it can feel daunting to start, but here are some tips on how you can master this practice with time and utilize it to help you through the school year.
Find A Comfortable Position
Don’t overthink this step. Simply find a distraction-free area that allows for solitude and peace. This doesn’t always have to be the same spot, but over time you might find a specific location or posture that helps you calm your mind. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable and able to focus.
Establish A Time Limit Beginners generally opt for no more than 5 minutes at first. This makes the exercise less intimidating and allows you to grow as you continue to practice mindfulness. No matter how long you sit with yourself and your feelings, know that your effort will reap great rewards.
Be Aware of Your Body If there are any aches or pains present, cater to them. The last thing you want is to be in discomfort while trying to rid your mind of negativity. Whether you prefer to sit, kneel, or lie down, that’s entirely up to you. Just try not to move or fidget too much once you’ve started.
Notice Your Breath Your breath is at the core of the exercise. As you breathe in and out, follow that sensation. Let your chest rise and fall with every breath and focus on filling your lungs with air and fully exhaling. This will allow you to return to the moment and become more in tune with your body.
Allow Your Mind to Wander Allow your thoughts to come and go as they please. When your mind inevitably wanders, just simply bring your attention back to the breath. The more you do this, the more accustomed your brain will get to being in the here and now.
Give Yourself Grace There’s no perfect formula for practicing mindfulness. With that said, don’t judge yourself if you aren’t instantly overwhelmed with a sense of calm. Even if you spend most of your time lost in thoughts, remind yourself that it’s OK to be imperfect.
Work with Us We hope that these tips help you throughout the school year. If you are interested in exploring a career with GIFTED, connect with a recruiter and learn about our opportunities.