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Mindfulness Practices and Techniques

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Mindfulness Practices and Techniques

•Mindfulness practices can help us cope with anxiety, depression, pain and other issues.
•Breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and body scans are mindfulness practices.
•Trying a mix of practices can enhance coping skills.

Mindfulness concepts were first used in therapy with people with suffering chronic illnesses.  Using mindfulness helped these people with reducing stress and has also been found to help with pain, depression and other issues.  Mindfulness practice changes the relationship to the issue and users learn more about themselves and see more choice and control.  
Mindfulness applications which help coping with mental health issues include breathing exercises, meditation, body scans, yoga and mindful daily activities.  
Mindful breathing exercises help us notice our inhale and exhale and what is happening in the present moment.  This process is calming and can help us focus.  Anxiety, ADHD, pain and depression are issues which can be addressed with breathing exercises.  
Meditation is an application of mindfulness familiar to most people.  Mindfulness meditation is about noticing thoughts and feelings in the present.  In meditation, these thoughts and feelings are allowed to only be observed and noticed in this present moment as if they were clouds floating by in the sky.  This type of meditation helps us see that our thoughts and feelings exist but we are not our thoughts and feelings.  It helps us be with, but not defined by, thoughts and feelings.  Mindful meditation helps with anxiety, health and pain issues.
A body scan is a mindful practice where you bring full awareness, not judgment or evaluation, to each part of your body.  Awareness includes noticing the thoughts, emotions and sensations in parts of your body.  You then shift your attention and focus to relieving, relaxing and accepting what you find there.  This process is aimed at uniting the mind and body into an integrated whole.  A mindful body scan can help coping with depression, health and pain issues.  
Yoga is a gentle exercise which uses mindful attention, including paying attention to your breathing, helps to yoke together our mind and body.  Anxiety, ADHD and depression benefit from a yoga practice.  
Mindfulness can be incorporated into daily activities which align our thoughts, emotions and body in a present moment for the same purpose.  Taking a walk, cleaning and even eating can include mindfulness.  Anxiety, ADHD and depression benefit from a mindful activity practice.  
Trying a variety of these mindfulness practices can help people moderate their issues and increase their coping skills. Guided exercises in mindfulness, breathing, meditation and yoga can be found online on YouTube and on apps like Calm.  Click the blog tag highlighted above for more posts on other aspects of mindfulness.