Mindfulness is a powerful way to handle stress, and live life more fully. Mindfulness is all about living fully in the present moment, without judgment, and with an attitude of kindness and curiosity towards oneself and others. It’s about breathing, noticing what’s happening right here and now. Mindfulness helps us be present. It sounds simple, but it takes regular practice.
My first mindful teacher has a podcast that I use on a regular basis. Try this one to get started.
Three-Minute Body Scan Meditation
Is mindfulness meditation? Is it prayer? I believe it can be both. As a person of faith, I find that with each breath, I am breathing in the breath of God. Life abundant. It is space to listen to God. Mindfulness is not essentially prayer, but it helps me to be present in this world so that I can be more aware of God’s presence in my life. I know that has real changes for me. Research shows that mindfulness has significant changes to health and wellbeing. Neuroscience is finding that mindfulness may be re-wiring the brain so that we can be more focused and less neurotic. Another mindful practice that has helped me is using the acronym RULER to understand when I am in a place of of crisis. This can be work for a huge argument or a time of depression.
Recognize the emotion without judgement.
Understand the cause of the emotion.
Label the emotion accurately. This may require digger deeper than the presenting emotion.
Express the emotion appropriately if the opportunity allows.
Regulate the emotion successfully and move forward.
Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. Abundant used to mean to me, how much can I cram into my day? Mindfulness has helped me be more present and recognize that abundance really is finding love and joy every day in the everyday ordinary of life.
Michelle-Thomas Bush is the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Learn more about mindfulness with Michelle at her Treading Water workshop at this year's ARW Conference. Explore mindfulness, ancient faith practices and mindful games to use with young people.