Mindfulness is a great coping skill that can help reduce stress levels. It is a complete body, mind, and spirit practice. Through meditation and contemplation, you begin to remove negativity from your life. You also begin to see what is triggering you and how your body reacts to that triggering.  However, if you are a Christian, should you practice mindfulness?  Absolutely; just maybe not in the sense the world practices it as!  Charles Stone, in his book Holy Noticing, states the following:

“Unfortunately we often don’t live in the moment, in this space.  Rather than being mindful, we often become mindless.  We flit from one distraction to another, trying to satisfy our every whim.  When we live mindlessly, we entangle ourselves in unhealthy thoughts and afflictive emotions.  We crucify ourselves between two crosses.  One rehashes and replays difficulties from the past that we cannot change.  The other rehearses and ruminates over problems that might occur in the future that we cannot control.

As a result, we rarely fully engage in our present moment.  He refers to mindfulness as “Holy Noticing“.  He states, “Holy noticing makes us become aware of our internal world as we respond to stimuli from our outer world.  It helps us expand that space between a stimulus and our internal or external response.  When we do that, God’s Spirit empowers us to live more fully in the moment in a nonreactionary and nonjudgemental way.  We’re able to step off the treadmill of the past, stop anxiously replaying what might happen in the future, and engage the present with joy and peace.”

So no matter your spiritual belief, being mindful of the present moment is beneficial to all.  Below are some different techniques that can help you be mindful of the present moment:

Five Senses

Be intentional to notice the present moment by involving your 5 senses. What are:

5 things you see 4 things you feel 3 things you hear 2 things you smell 1 thing you taste

FYI you may not have two things you smell and one thing you taste so then answer the question what is one thing I’m thankful for today.

Mindfulness Walk

While going on a walk, be intentional about being in the present moment. Start by noticing how your body moves and feels with each step. Now, expand your awareness of what is around you. What do you see, feel, hear and smell? Describe each.

Body Scan

Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Next, pay close attention to physical sensations in your body, noticing any tension or tightness you may have in each muscle as you scan your way up your body. If you notice any tightness, just relax. Begin at your feet and work your way up through your legs, hips, abdomen, chest, back, arms, shoulders, neck, and face. For example, notice if your tongue is at the roof of your mouth; if so, drop it and relax. Spend at least 15 to 45 seconds on each body part.

Mindfulness Meditation

Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down and possibly play some relaxing music to help set the tone for the next few minutes. Now, begin paying attention to your breathing by placing one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. Notice the rise and fall of your stomach and chest. Do this for at least 2 – 5 minutes. Do not worry when your mind wonders. Instead, bring your attention back to your breathing. This exercise is even better when you invite God into it and spend the time just inviting Him into the moment with you.

Four, Seven, Eight Breathing Exercise

Take a deep breath in through your nose for the count of 4. Next, hold for the count of 7 and then exhale through your mouth – SLOWLY – for the count of 8. Repeat this until you begin feeling relaxed.

Check out my digital store that has other resources to help you heal and grow on your journey!  Also, connect with me on my social media platforms and let me know how these techniques help you.