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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Mindfulness Exercise Helps Us Remain in the Present Moment: Learn a simple, mindful exercise to practice daily, from Dr. Linda Khoshaba

Oct 31, 2013 03:39PM ● By Linda Khoshaba, NMD

Mindfulness is the complete state of awareness of the present moment, which may be easier said than done. Often, we are either focused on what we need to get done later in the day, tomorrow or next week, or focused on something that happened a day, week or month ago; perhaps even years ago. Rarely are we even aware of what is going on in the present moment.

We are good at identifying physical symptoms in our body, but do not take the time to make sense of the mental symptoms that occur, including negative thoughts, worries, fears and irritations. Stress is usually the cause. Being mindful means to focus on the present moment and pay full attention to what is going on around us. Here is a simple, mindful exercise to practice daily, and practice makes perfect.

Before starting the exercise, situate yourself in a peaceful, quiet room and prepare to engage in this exercise for at least five minutes. As you start, take a deep breath and focus your attention to the sight, smell and thoughts of the present moment. Bring your attention and focus to what is going on internally. If you feel that your thoughts are taking you to either the past or the future, just become aware of this and bring yourself back to the present moment.

Keep your focus on your breathing as you inhale slowly and feel your abdomen expand. Gently exhale slowly and feel your abdomen retract back to the original position. Try a series of these breathing exercises for at least five minutes and really try to focus on the present moment, enjoying the experience this exercise can bring you.

This exercise should ideally be practiced at least once per day, and is a great way to either start or finish the day. It even can be used throughout the day to help relax and feel more in control of thoughts, emotions and feelings.

Not only can mindfulness help us relax, it can also bring about positive changes in physical symptoms, such as lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, reducing chronic pain and alleviating an upset stomach. Mental health can also improve with mindfulness, and this is a great therapy for people that suffer from anxiety, depression, obsessive/compulsive behavior, eating disorders and substance abuse.

Mindfulness allows us to focus on ourself and get a better understanding of our inner senses. It allows us to also get in touch with our emotions and understand them without judgment. The more we practice this in our daily routine, the easier it becomes and the more benefits we will see. It is a technique that has been used for hundreds of years throughout many cultures because it helps shift thoughts from the future or the past and allows us to take on the present perspective.

Dr. Linda Khoshaba received a doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her main areas of focus include women's health, pediatric medicine, diabetes management and prolotherapy. For more information, phone 480-657-0003 or visit MyIntegrativeHealth.com.

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