Mindfulness is good for your mood, good for helping you to think more clearly, helps connect to and accept your feelings, and it’s good for your health. I’m sure there’s more to it. Advanced forms of mindfulness tend to be spiritual and … in my words… feed your soul.
This is a first-step challenge. It’s super simple, but the more you practice it, the more you realize it does.
This introductory mindfulness challenge is to count to 10 and let it create space in the moment. When you have the time and space, count 1 to 10 as many times as you like. When you reach 10 start over again at 1 and keep going. Try to do it at least 10 times a day.
Notice what each of your senses is perceiving. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel with your sense of touch, e.g., the shirt on your shoulders, your body on a chair or your feet on the ground? What do you smell? What do you taste?
Counting to 10 can have pretty far-reaching effects if it’s your kind of practice. If you don’t want to try it, that’s fine. May I suggest that you put in the parking lot of coping skills you choose not to use? If it seems like you might want to take it out for a spin at some later point, go for it!
Last week, I did this on the treadmill at the gym. I noticed I was counting 1 step, step, step, step, 2, step, step, step, step, 3, etc. You get the point. For whatever reason, my body and mind were slowing the count to four steps per count… There were a number of times during the day when I tried to count, but didn’t even get to 4 before I got lost in my thoughts. Today in the sauna, I sat up straight, tried to connect with my spine and balance my head over my sit bones. Just think about it. There’s the cervical curve of your neck, the thoracic curve of your chest that curves in the opposite direction, the lumbar curve of your spine and the pelvis. Somehow the 10 pound / 4.5 kg weight of your head has to find center and the four curves of your spine have to support your head… Anyway, it was quite a challenge to sit up straight, and belly breathe. I slowed my breathing way down and counted to 10 very, very slowly. It was challenging and forced out all my other thoughts.