A Mindful Smile can reach all parts of the body!
I know I bang on about Mindfulness and I know you all tell me you don’t have time….even when you are doing it unconsciously (bet I could find you time if I followed you for a day too!). But a Mindful Smile is natural medicine.
Let’s take Mindfulness to a Micro Level which is doable and as we all know it’s about the ‘DOING.’ So my challenge to you is to have a go at one of the tasks/practice I have given my students…….The Mindful Smile
The Payoff will be….
Less stress at the end of the day, those 4 pm headaches will lessen, you won’t go home and kick the cat or the partner and you will have a more peaceful evening!
Make a commitment to yourself
Decide to take 2 minutes time out and sit quietly where you won’t be disturbed. Feet flat on the floor and back straight.
Take a couple of deep breathes in and out relaxing the body; especially the shoulders, jaw and solar plexus! Just drop into that lovely quiet space you can feel when you daydream
As you breathe in begin to mindfully smile to yourself. Feel that radiant energy flow into your face because you are releasing those smiley endorphins into the brain. It’s a big cheesy grin that appears and your eyes crinkle.
- As you breathe out;
- Release your mindful smile, relaxing the whole of your face and notice how your body also releases tension.
- And now breathe in smiling again feeling it reach your eyes
- And out, relaxing the face….don’t forget to release the jaw as that gets so tense during the day resulting in migraines/headaches.
- Notice how the lungs and belly expand.
- Let go of thoughts by just focusing on the breath, the smile and the energy beginning to change throughout your body
Keep this going for 2 minutes and check out how happy and balanced you feel at the end along with more energy.
Do this a few times throughout the day and it’s amazing how your energy changes.
Continue with the rest of your day.
Want to ramp it up a bit then check out How Bubbles can boost your energy and wellbeing click here
Guess what…this is a phenomenal exercise to do with the kids they love it…start them early.
Until Next time
Unconscious Mindfulness, is that you? Yep more than likely; just like 98% of the rest of the population (OK I made that figure up, but it’s lots of people!). You are doing it, but you don’t know that you are!
So you talk about being Mindful?
Well, don’t you? There are so many times I smile when I hear peeps say they would love to learn to be more mindful or come to class to meditate, but they just don’t have time/space/know how to do it. Why do I smile? because they are probably more mindful and meditate far more than they realise but it’s all done at an unconscious level trucking along inside the brain.
Let’s look at it – this word Mindfulness
Has there really been a significant resurgence of ‘Mindfulness’ over the last few years? Well not really it’s been around since the 1970’s when Jon Kabat-Zinn presented key attitudes and practices to students to de-stress and just be in the moment.
It’s now become a bit of a buzzword and has made its way into the mainstream of everyday living over the last few years with lots of publicity. It’s not new, and it’s not rocket science; however, the marketing and media tribes would like you to believe it’s the best thing since burnt toast and worth paying mega bucks for…well no shit! They love making money.
Winner – that’s me.
I’m a Winner! I put myself out for a challenge in July and today I completed it. What an achievement. A significant bit of Self-Actualisation
I’m a Winner
How do I feel?
As a self-confessed poor completer-finisher (team roles) it’s a miracle! Yes, they happen all the time we just don’t see or feel them.
Even as a winner I can procrastinate with the best of you, however, I have found that if it is something I am passionate about it eventually gets done – in Diva Time.
I can say that there were days when I was exhausted as I am battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and brain fog takes over – to get a glimpse of that world is like here’s my take on it. Blog link
Bubbles, who doesn’t love them?
Bubbles you see them and smile. You drink them they fizz, and they tickle. Did you know you can use them for Balance and Relaxation?
Bubbles make you Smile
At the end of the summer term, I donate a small gift to each of my students for having the persistence and commitment to remain with me for another year.
I never know what that gift will be until it jumps out at me; this year it was BUBBLES…. Why on earth would I give a bunch of middle-aged adults kids bubbles? For three extremely good reasons.
By blowing bubbles from time to time, they would be;
- Getting Breathing Practice – a Key to Balance and Stability
- Connecting with the child within (playing!)
- Visualising themselves being surrounded by a bubble of light
Dreams we all have them.
Dreams – Do we take the time to visualise or hear them all?
- Dreams inform our goals, our vision for our future.
- Rainbows remind me of childhood and pots of gold
- Lemon Drops are my Nan; she always bought me sweets on a Thursday
- Finally, Wonderful World, I feel privileged to be part of the World around me and all those I have contact with I love your all and of course I have a real fondness of listening to Louis Armstrong singing about it.
Words are so powerful; take term Your Dreams; it conjures up different recollections and visions for everyone; what does it bring to mind for you?
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world”. Harriet Tubman
Previously I have mentioned Words as a Powerful Motivator at several levels; however, Music just hits the very core of everyone and produces emotions.
Music is the strongest form of Magic.
Strength and Stability.
Strength/Stability – Powerful words that you can use as an affirmation or as a supportive and mindful reminder that you can do anything you set your mind to it.
These are two of my favourite words and ones I find most empowering. I have students who use them every day to centre and balance themselves. Others use the words when they have to go into meetings or give presentations. In class, we use them just as a straightforward affirmation or sometimes incorporate a visualisation with them.
Both words can lead you to Grounding yourself for the task ahead – for more on grounding follow
For the affirmation,
On the in breath hear the word STRENGTH in your mind as you fill the belly and pause, on the out breath hear the word STABILITY as you release slowly and just keep this going for a couple of minutes ‘feel’ the words as you say them. This will raise your confidence and energy – you can do whatever it is you need to do.
You might need to visualise the two words several times before embarking on what you are going to do.
Life and Work,“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” http://quoteaddicts.com
I believe we have to put Life first because it is all we have. If we go some way to having a balanced life, then the rest will follow. In truth, not many people reflect on themselves and their needs just everyone else’s.
I ask the question “does balance figure in your life and work?” If not, why not? You need as much ‘Playtime’ as you have ‘Worktime’ Even though you might enjoy your job, you still need time away from it; similar to your personal life you need your ‘work’ to give you an anchor.
Which way does your Balance Tip?
Without a little balance, stressors can begin to creep in, and life moves out of kilter. So, is there anything you might need to change? If so maybe it’s time to ‘Do the Doing’ (check this out)
The Quick Quiz
Just indicate with a yes next to any of these that apply to you and we will see.
Splish, Splash are you taking a Bath
Ok, so this blog is more about Soaking Away Stressors rather than Splish Splashing…. It’s a Whole Person Compassion Technique but you can chuck water about should you wish to.
Stress Release – Soothe the Body Mind Spirit
It is a successful technique I share with my tribe, and it’s your challenge for day 5 of a 7-day challenge.
How often do you get to a point where you need to give yourself a bit extra? Not just at Physical level but Public/Mental/Emotional/Spiritual levels too? Without a doubt, you will also need to cleanse your energy after a busy day undertaking all you have to do and all the people and situations you come into contact with.
You will need to set some ground rules with your nearest and dearest so that you can have a bit of space and time just to indulge in this stress reduction Self-Care routine.
Rugby Players – Not just for the Ladies!
Rugby Players need sensitive hands. Day 4 of the 7-day challenge to ‘Self-Care’.
Hands that can ‘FEEL’ the ball and position it ready to throw in the right direction are crucial to Ruby Players. Therefore this technique/exercise can be for the guys not just for the ladies.
Rugby Players need Sensitive Hands!
In fact, I used it once with a bunch of Rugby Players I was working with they loved their soft hands at the end…mind you the guys did say they would drop the ball if the did it before a match so they might get the opposition to practice this technique….
Reduces Work Stress
Several years ago I was commissioned to write a training programme around the subject of Reducing Work Stress. The following exercise was one I used; the outcome was everyone who attended bought hand cream into work and had it visible on their desk. – guys included.
They would exchange hand creams for others to try. They had an internal policy. If anyone was using hand massage, they were left alone for a few minutes as it was a sign they need five minutes out. No one abused the practice. How cool was that?!
Your Self- Care Hand Massage
Before you begin massaging your hands, fingers, and cuticles, take off any jewellery. Now, first apply the cream to the back of your hands as this is where it is often the driest, think about the skin that the sun hits the most.
Visualisation and Mind Compassion
Visualisation plays a large part in the state of Wellbeing. You will be aware that at the beginning of August I set a little 7-day Self-Care challenge for those who wish to take it. Today is Day 3.
This mindful challenge will take no more than 10 minutes. It will reach that part of your brain that often needs respite…Your MIND. I’m sure if you look you will find the time and add a new technique to your Toolbox.
The Mind is in there
Why use Visualisation you may ask?
I’m sure your will remember as a kid you would daydream and imagine, at a physical level the superpowers you had when playing games like film hero’s/heroines. Maybe just lying in the sun and let your thoughts dwindle and your imagination come to the fore, you find that space where you could escape from the day to day stuff that crowded in on you.
I used to drape a tarpaulin over the washing line, make a sort of tent with it and sit under it in the rain. It became a rain forest and could just listen to the sounds the water made as it hit the tent. I knew I was safe, warm and could then daydream…..an often forgotten skill.