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04/30/2020
Mindful or Mind Full?!
Corporate Communications

Right now, many of us are feeling stressed, anxious and depressed. After all, these are some very confusing and stressful times for all of us. AMG Behavioral Health is here to help. And, you don’t need to make an appointment or even talk to anyone. All you need to do is simply work on being mindful. Sure, you have probably heard about mindfulness – but do you really know what it means?! Or why it matters? Or how to be mindful?

The definition of mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment. You make a conscious decision to focus on something (breathing, coloring, walking, reading, eating, etc.) for a set amount of time. When your mind wanders, you gently notice it and bring your mind back to whatever it is you were focusing on. Seems simple enough, right?

Why does mindfulness matter? Mindfulness can reduce negative emotions. Focusing on the past is a common symptom of depression. Focusing on the future is a normal symptom of anxiety. Mindfulness ignores the past and the future and keeps us focused on the present, which in turn, keeps us grounded. In addition, according to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness has also been shown to reduce stress, boost our memory, increase focus and enhance relationship satisfaction.

Now, how do we do actually put mindfulness into practice? There are several different ways to get started. One method is called the ‘5-4-3-2-1’ method. To do this, identify:

  • 5 things that you see in the present moment
  • 4 things that you feel/touch in the present moment
  • 3 things that you hear in the present moment
  • 2 things that you smell in this moment AND
  • 1 thing that you taste in the present moment

Another easy way to be mindful is to simply focus on one aspect of your breath (the rising and the falling of the chest or stomach, the entry and exit point of the breath, the temperature of the air entering or exiting). If you simply can’t slow your thoughts or are feeling overwhelmed, begin counting backwards from 100 by 3s. If that is too easy, count backwards by 7. Once that becomes easy, pick any random number and count backwards. If you lose focus, or become lost in a thought, notice it, then gently turn your mind back toward counting again.

Here are some other tips for beginning your mindfulness practice:

  • Download a mindfulness-based app such as Headspace, Insight Timer, Calm, etc.
  • Play with a pet or your child. While doing so, engage your senses and notice how you feel.
  • Practice daily gratitude - either verbally or in a journal form.
  • Write an email, text or letter and send it to someone. Tell them about how you appreciate them or how your life has been made better by having them in it.
  • Search online for guided meditations, progressive muscle relaxation or guided body scans.

With all of these great mindfulness ideas and tips, you are sure to find something that works well for you. Now, get to work on moving from being “mind full” to mindful.

Submitted by: Maranda Nowlin, AMG Behavioral Health

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Location Finder

Here's your guide to finding any of the facilities in the Aultman family of health services, including maps and contacts. 

Need a Doctor?

Aultman Medical Group's network of more than 240 providers is committed to high-level patient care.

Schedule an Appointment

Call 330-363-6288 or click below to complete an online form. 

 

Donate Today

You can help support and enhance services, and in turn, help patients and their families who benefit from care received at Aultman.

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