"With an instructor and a room of people it feels so easy. Trying to be mindful on your own can be a bit - ugh."
I've definitely had the same experience. It's difficult to be quiet, close your eyes and relax your muscles when you're not being told to do so. It can be enough to turn you off mindfulness altogether.
But, there's one simple mindful practice I learned last year; a simple breathing exercise. I get stressed a lot. And a huge part of my stress has been mild panic attacks when I'm upset or overwhelmed. Regulating your breathing is a great technique for helping you to calm down and return to a more neutral state. Mindfulness, as discussed in last week's post, can help you with this.
Inhale for 4 secondsIt sounds so simple, but it's ridiculously effective. Deep breathing is a highly lauded practice in helping with anxiety. Basically, it's the ultimate in de-stressing, and it's worked for me.
Hold for 2 seconds
Exhale for 6 seconds
But, as it's tough to remember to use these techniques on your own, I had to make a visible reminder.
On top of the gold paint I spelled out what I wanted to say via stickers (the Stickers I used are also gold, making them hard to read in this picture, but a bargain at €1.49 in Dealz). I also included an anchor because anchors are quite possibly my favourite ever thing, and this breathing exercise is perfect to keep you anchored.
Then, I spray painted over the stickers in pink spray paint (picked up from my local hardware store).
All that's left is to peel off the stickers and ta-dah it's complete! My own little personal reminder to turn to mindfulness when things get tough.
Seriously, give mindfulness a try.