Mindful March Week 3: Get out of your head and into your body

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Welcome to Mindful March with Manchester Mind. Each week on our social media channels for #WellbeingWednesday, we are focusing on a different way that you can bring some mindful awareness into your everyday life. Hopefully by carving out some small mindful moments each day, you will find a greater sense of calm and focus.

If you missed week three you can catch up here:

Sometimes we spend so much time in our heads, rushing about, thinking, planning and worrying, that we forget about our bodies, not really noticing them until they cause us problems with illness, pain, fatigue or symptoms of stress. This short check-in practice allows you to connect to what’s going on in your body right now, and help you make wiser decisions as you go through the rest of your day. Try this one a few times a day. It doesn’t take long.

Here is how to do it (written instructions also below):

Firstly, if you like, take a seat and take a few slow deep long breaths, letting go of whatever has happened in your day so far, any sense of rushing about. Let the body return to its natural breath and start to pay attention all the way down into the feet, noticing the contact between feet and floor, maybe the temperature of the feet, the pressure. After a few moments here, move up to the feel of the body resting on the seat – perhaps noticing the weight of the body bearing down on the thighs and bum. There’s some contact and pressure here. Paying attention here for a few moments. Of course the mind will wander – that’s okay. It’s what minds do. When you noticed the mind is no longer focused on the body, just gently letting go of whatever you were thinking of and come back into the body. After a few moments resting on the sensations of being sat done, come into the hands and see what sensations are here. Touch, pressure, temperature. Next, expand your awareness so you have a sense of the whole body beginning to notice what else is going on. There may be unpleasant sensations – tension or pain, or anxiety, and that’s okay. No need to try to get rid of them – you can maybe do something about them after the practice. For now, just notice what’s here. There may be pleasant sensations as well, maybe it feels nice just to have stopped. Just paying attention to whatever’s here in the body. After a few moments here, you can then just assess what’s your current mood state. Not judging whatever you notice, just noting it. And also noticing the kinds of thoughts that are distracting you – are they urgent, stressful thoughts? What can you learn from just noticing them without getting involved in them.

Coming to the end of the practice as we began by noticing the feel of the feet on the floor, and maybe taking a few slow belly breaths before going on with your day.

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