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Positive psychology coping skill: Mindfulness

Be present now
Be present now
Microsoft/Clip Art

Mindfulness is a positive psychology coping skill. When developed, mindfulness helps you let go of judgments, be in the present moment and feel less anxious and depressed about what may or may not happen.

Mindfulness doesn’t mean meditating 20 – 40 minutes a day. That’s a bigger commitment than most people I know are willing (or able!) to make! Mindfulness doesn’t need to be an overwhelming prospect! Even small changes can positively impact your internal emotional well-being and how you relate to external events!

Mindfulness and Conscious Parenting:

Unmindful: Why is my young daughter doing that thing to irritate me? Why is she asking me irrelevant questions? She KNOWS I need to get to work! Does she think the world revolves around her? Are her clothes clean? What about her hair? It’s not fully brushed out!

Mindful: She doesn’t really understand the world of rushed adults. She still has that wonderful feeling of timelessness that young children have. I think I’ll bask in that for a moment. Notice how cute she is. Notice my tight shoulders and relax them. She is cute. Breathe in. I’m so lucky to be a parent. Breathe out. She needs me. She has a question, and I’ll try to answer it, but if I can’t do that right now, I’ll say that we need to talk more later on, when we’re both at home this evening. I feel good and her hair is fine. All is the way it needs to be right now. All is well.

Mindfulness and the Morning Drive:

Unmindful: OMG! So much traffic! Everything is so polluted by all the gas guzzlers!! OMG! That guy just cut me off! I feel dissed! I’ll show him! I’ll chase after him! What a hunk of junk car he’s driving! Well, having a nicer car and new house is the best revenge! I feel so irritated!

Mindful: Breathe in. Goodness, that person back there was so kind to let me in; she paused and waved me in! Breathe out. I feel a glow of positivity all around me. I feel my hands on the steering wheel and realize the car is running well. I notice the color of the sky. Breathe in. And where the sun is in the sky. Breathe out. Notice how traffic is moving. Hear the music on the radio and feel how the melody makes me feel. Be mindful of how others may feel in this traffic as well. We are all in the flow at the same time.

Mindfulness and Your Food:

Unmindful: Ugh! More fast food! Only have ½ hour to eat, then back to work! What’s this on my phone? Who’s messaging me now? OMG! Jimmy Fallon’s killing it on the Tonight Show! Love the Black Simon & Garfunkel! I’m still hungry! Was the portion too small? I don’t; remember eating it at all…have to buy a chocolate bar to fill up and feel full.

Mindful: Breathe in. Glad I chose to buy soup and salad today at the health food store. Sitting down. Slowly opening up the wrappers to my food. Noticing the aromas. Spicy and warm, comforting. Breathe in. Noticing the interplay of colors. Breathe out. Dark green, orange, light green, white, black. Noticing the textures. Crunchy, softer, middle ground between these. Being mindful of chef cooking the food: the ritual of chopping, sautéing, cooking and the interconnectedness of the act of eating the prepared food. Be mindful of how the food was grown, in the field, the people that were involved in farming, collecting and transporting it to my plate. We are all in this flow.

Be kind to yourself. Approach beginning mindfulness by noticing how your emotions are and how you and your body feels in the world. Let go of the constant judging of yourself and others. Begin to simply notice the emotions and body feelings. Again, be kind to yourself. Practice mindful non-judgment whenever you find a few moments in your day.

The mindfulness aspect of positive psychology develops your ability to let go of judgments about notice what’s going on inside and around you, lets you stay present in the moment, and helps you calm your inner emotions and cope better in situations.

If you feel you need some help in feeling emotionally balanced, in my counseling practice in Wayne , and in my online work, I’m available to help you navigate your life issues and help you find a comfortable mix of mindful self-care and professional help. Please feel free to email or call me.