This week’s bite size balance tip is about mindfulness and how it can be a great part of your life as an educator and help you in your everyday life, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Prefer to watch a video of this blog? Click here.
First I invite you to check out a reel that I posted a couple of days ago. It was a humourous take on how, all too often, people say that mindfulness doesn’t work – without even trying it, or making an effort to do it consistently!
Like anything, mindfulness is a practice and you have to be consistent with it in order for it to be beneficial for you.
So for the next month, I’ll be hopping on Instagram LIVE each Saturday for a little “conversation and coffee” – to share different strategies so that you might find something that works for you, as an educator.
First let’s get real… mindfulness won’t change everything in your life, in the blink of an eye.
But things will change, for the better, when you become aware of what triggers you and implement your mindfulness practices consistently.
NOW, LET’S BUST A FEW MYTHS
In the live video, I was wearing a sweatshirt from my yoga school that has a person sitting in a “meditation” posture.
But contrary to popular belief, you do not have to sit criss cross or super still, or stop your thoughts or anything like that to practice mindfulness.
That’s not what mindfulness is.
SO WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
It is observing the present moment in a curious and open way.
If you are ever in a space where you’re telling yourself, Oh, I can’t do mindfulness because I cannot sit still. I can’t sit in a crisscross position. I can’t stop my thoughts…
You don’t have to.
You’re human. And the moment that you put yourself inside of that box of having to do it a certain way, and then your body becomes uncomfortable or you’re latching onto stopping your thoughts – the practice stops.
HERE’S A BETTER WAY TO DO A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
Find yourself a nice, comfortable position. It can be as simple as that! (For me, I do my mindfulness practice in the morning, sitting right in my bed, often legs outstretched, and leaning back against a pillow so that I can be most comfortable.)
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS?
1. You’ll notice when your body sends you stress signals. And because of that awareness, you’ll be able to more quickly notice these things happening. Whereas before your practice of mindfulness started, you’ve maybe gone day to day not really noticing what was going on or what anything that you were feeling really meant.
2. You’ll become more in tune with your emotions and when they begin to become thoughts. Did you know there is a difference? There is!
Emotions actually live in your body only for about 90 seconds. And then after that, if it’s still around, you’ve converted it into thought, and you are the one that is hanging on to it. It is not the emotion going through your body anymore! (Let’s chat if you need help with this one! Book a complimentary call here)
3. When those things happen – when the emotions start to become thoughts – then the last thing that could happen when you become more mindful is that you might be able to more easily step back from any story that your mind is creating.
A few weeks back in the live video that I did when we were talking about getting out of the comparison game, I said that the mind likes to worry and the mind likes to compare and the mind likes to dramatize.
With mindfulness, we start to notice when those things start to happen. We notice when it’s the mind actually creating a story or getting into drama or getting lost in a spiral of thoughts. Your mindfulness practice can help you to step back and say to yourself, Oh, wait, this might just be the story that I’m creating in my mind. And that’s not really me.
HOW ELSE CAN MINDFULNESS HELP YOU AS AN EDUCATOR?
Well, I imagine that at some point in each of our lives, we reacted to a situation and maybe later we thought we could have handled it in a better way. We’ve all done that.
Perhaps you reacted to an email that you received or you reacted harshly to something that was happening in front of you or said words that you later thought that you could have said better.
This is another thing that mindfulness can help with. It’ll give you that space to…
- Step back
- Take a pause
- Perhaps take a breath
- Then make your decision and respond rather than react.
Over these next few weeks, I’ll be sharing different mindfulness strategies and practices. I’ll also lead you in some practices.
I shared a short 3 minute practice in the LIVE video , starting at the 7:35 mark. Listen here!