The Mindful Path – Explore Mindfulness
By Marilyn Halpern MSW, LSW ~
“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness Day is Sunday, September 12th. This celebration began in 2011 when the nonprofit Wisdom Publications decided to promote mindfulness and raise awareness about its benefits. As a practice, mindfulness can span from moments to week-long retreats. Author Tara Brach offers a free, 40-day online guided training to help individuals establish a mindfulness practice. The fifteen-minute Mindfulness Daily lessons are easy to work into a busy day. To explore this free training visit: https://www.tarabrach.com/mindfulness-daily/
Mindfulness encourages us to take a pause, a moment of intentional contemplation, of being fully aware and present without interpretation or judgement. To get started and learn more, UCLA Health offers a free app for IOS and Android. You can enjoy this great resource by downloading the UCLA Mindful App.
According to the Mayo Clinic, practicing mindfulness can involve breathing methods, guided imagery, present-centered walking, or other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. September is a wonderful month to explore what mindfulness modality works best for you.
For some, journaling or writing is a great way to gain greater introspection. Self-Care: A Day and Night Reflection Journal by Insight Editions is an easy-to-use journal to cultivate mindfulness. It has simple checklists to prompt reflection and promote daily well-being. There are many journals available to appeal to different writing styles.
Mindfulness can be as easy as taking 10 deep, intentional breaths to create a pause in our response or to quiet our minds. It provides a window of opportunity to approach a tense situation with patience, self-kindness, and better understanding. As the pressure and stress of daily life erode our happiness, research suggests that mindfulness can ease suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Healthy Aging (RRTC) Department at the University of Washington offers an excellent fact sheet on “How to Reduce Stress through Mindfulness.” Print this free resource using this link: https://agerrtc.washington.edu/sites/agerrtc/files/files/Mindfulness_Final.pdf
Studies suggest that mindfulness can be a powerful component of wellbeing, positively impacting high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia, pain, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and immune response. Mindfulness isn’t the end all, be all. It should be considered part of your overall wellness plan.
September is the perfect time to branch out or dig deeper in our mindfulness practice. Enjoy this month of abundance with health, vitality, and increased happiness. Shana Tovah!
Marilyn Halpern is the founder and executive director of Aspen Care Services. This locally owned business provides medical power of attorney, care management and professional guardianship services in the Denver Metro area. For more information visit – www.aspencareservices.com. Photo credit: Roland Halpern