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Systems Check – How Am I Doing?

Bringing mindful awareness to your inner experience can offer oneself the soothing benefit of caring, attuned attention. This can be particularly helpful if one is feeling overwhelmed or over-stimulated by present circumstances, or we just want to create opportunities for pause throughout our busy day. Mindfulness is defined simply as “focused attention from an objective perspective of ‘witness’, without judgment or the need to fix or change”. This simple exercise can be used anywhere throughout your day, and can be done as a quick check-in, or a longer meditation if you have the time.

First bring your attention to your physical experience. Notice what it is like to be in your body at this moment. Notice how your body feels generally, (e.g. tired, relaxed, wired, tense, numb…), notice your breathing, and then narrow your focus to areas where you are noticing strong sensations. Just notice.

Next bring your attention to your emotions. How are you feeling in this moment? Perhaps you are having a strong emotional experience, if so, notice what that is, or maybe you aren’t aware of much at all. Just notice.

Next shift your attention to your thoughts. What is the content of your thoughts at the moment? Are you noticing a lot of mind chatter, or is your mind more restful?

Finally see if you can combine these three aspects, body, emotions, thoughts, and get a sense of your overall experience in this moment in time.

This simple exercise can help us to connect with ourselves in a gentle way, which can be very centering and calming. Over time a mindfulness practice can help us develop present moment awareness, mental stability and self-compassion.

 

By David Scammell (Psychotherapist)

 

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