Mindfulness, the Warriors Way

Mindfulness is an effective tool for staying in the present, which is key to increased happiness. It is also a way to release thoughts and let go of distractions. Follow The Mindful Warrior guidelines.

1. There is no wrong way to do this – just get started and know that everyone has wandering thoughts.

2. Begin your mindfulness practice by focusing on your breath, it will help ground you for the session.

3. Some people find it useful to use a mantra to focus on – that is a word or phrase that you say aloud and/or chant. You can use any word or sound which works for you. You can use an audio or video of guided meditation if that helps you stay focused.

4. When you find your mind wandering, and you will, simply return to observing your breath or mantra for a minute or so to get back into your practice. Try not to label the thought good or bad, just notice it and move on. You might say aloud ‘thinking’ to bring attention to the wandering thought but remember try not to judge it.

5. Observe – your thoughts, feelings and sensations - this is the objective of mindfulness although in reality there is no goal!

6. Release – any thoughts, feelings or sensations without judgment – this is critical to get the benefits of mindfulness. Even a thought that makes you think you're getting it right, or becoming more 'spiritual' is just that...another thought!

7. Label – your thoughts, feelings and sensations, both ‘good & ‘bad’ that occur when the mind wanders; this can be helpful in the ‘observing and letting go’ process.

8. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.

9. There are active forms of mindfulness for those who can benefit from something more involved, ie. mindful movement (can include Yoga) and mindful walking (Shinrin-Yoku).

10. Begin by setting aside 5 minutes to practice mindfulness the first week, then increase it to 10 minutes and continue to increase your time every week or so until you are practicing 20 minutes. If you can’t manage 20 minutes, do what works for you. Even 5 minutes each day (or twice a day) will help you on your Mindful Warrior journey!

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