The Top 5 Mindfulness Training Ideas
Many people (from Psychotherapists to CEOs) discuss the need for including Mindfulness Techniques into our everyday life. I’m a teacher of Mindfulness and Meditation and I can certainly share with you some latest mindfulness training ideas, but I think we are missing one crucial question. Do we really understand what mindfulness is?
Mindfulness is not just a series of granular tools or techniques to calm the mind so we can de-stress. It is learning the Art of staying present in every moment so that our right brain (creative mind) can freely give 100% attention to any given task, as opposed to our left brain (logical mind) trying to juggle 50 ideas and do none of them very well.
Mindfulness training, therefore, becomes a life-long study about creative focus and how we can oscillate appropriately between our right and left brains to live a rich, balanced and happy life. I have run mindfulness training in Sydney, Australia for over 10 years, and now feel like part of my life purpose is to expand this mindfulness training to a global level. Helping people to be happy and present in all areas of life. Here are my top 5 mindfulness training ideas to help you get into the zone.
The Top 5 Mindfulness Training Ideas
1. Spend time meditating
I know this seems stupidly obvious, but you need to train your mind to focus on a landscape (I prefer creative visualization meditations), a word, a theme, a mantra or your breath. This idea is to coach your mind to keep coming back to visualize or feel what you are meditating on. Even if you wander off a zillion times, that’s ok and part of the practice. So eventually, you can stay focused for a long period of time. Meditating is critical for mindfulness.
2. Creative hobbies
Remember that you are TRAINING yourself to be mindful and that requires good habits injected into your life that are creative and right brain focused. Creative tasks like playing music, dancing, painting, cooking, gardening and so forth, require your 100% attention. It’s hard to think about a work problem when you are playing out a tune on the guitar and keeping in rhythm with lyrics. Creative hobbies engage your mind and they need to be enjoyable and fun. Don’t paint if you hate it!
3. The Filing Cabinet
A great little technique to tell that crazy brain to shut down for the day! Your left brain will think about work, challenges or admin long after you want it to. I did a recent mindfulness training Sydney class whereby I asked clients to draw their most creative version of a kick-ass filing cabinet and at the end of their day – stuff all of their “to do” items in it lock it up (metaphorically) and pocket the key. Knowing that you can always open it up again the next day and pick up where you left off. It’s a great way of clearing out your head.
4. Engage your physical senses
A big part of mindfulness training is to stay present in your body. That means to feel all of your physical senses connected to sight, sound, smells, touch, and taste. You would be surprised how this exercise can suddenly bring you back from a panic attack or a stressed space. Try massaging your feet or slowly chewing your food. Stop and sense the wind on your face, the sun on your head and the sounds you can hear. This is probably the quickest way you can “ground” yourself which means to come back into your body and be mindful of everything going on around you. People in the army know how to do this well. They switch on their senses and are alert to the danger around them. Ever seen a senior army dude who looks like he has his head in the clouds and in la-la land? No,-I have not either!
5. Take deep breaths
Your rate of breathing controls how calm and balanced you are (hence how mindful you can possibly be). Shallow quick breathing sends messages to the body and brain that you are under stress. Of course, it is a mind-body loop, because when you are stressed the first thing you tend to do is take shorter and quicker breaths! Practice slow and deep breathing regularly so you feel what it is like to have this flowing even life force. Maybe try to do this in peaceful times so that when you do feel stressed, you can easily apply the technique to bring you back to a mindful state.
You might find it easy to implement these 5 Steps Mindfulness Training or you may be interested in my online course called “The Conscious Self”. These 12 modules take you through a series of videos, meditations, and exercises to practice mindfulness wisdom, to access your inner rock and realize just how conscious and balanced you really can be. I also do meditation and mindfulness training Sydney & Coffs Coast should you want to connect with me in person.