Try this short Mindfulness practice that I call “Just Listening”
Practice this whenever you feel the need for some mental space, 5 minutes away from the desk, or to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the chattering “monkey mind”
It is simplicity itself and can be done anywhere. This is me enjoying glorious winter sun today in our lovely Wooler Woodland Park. I like to practice outside as the sounds of nature are so soothing and, well….. natural!
Find yourself a comfortable seat, and make sure you are warm enough and wont be disturbed (dog walkers tend to let you be!) You may want to set your phone timer for 5-10 mins (and put it on silent) Close your eyes.
Begin by noticing your breath coming in and out of the nostrils, cool air coming in and warmer going out. As you inhale imagine growing a little taller as the breath travels up the spine, creating a little space between each vertebrae, and as you exhale relax the shoulders keeping your lovely long spine. Settle in with a few slow breaths.
Now you can simply “Just Listen”. Begin by noticing the sounds nearby and all around you… There is no need to engage in any thoughts about them, simply notice and listen to them… If you find yourself carried away by a thought, simply notice that too and gently bring your attention back to “Just Listening”
Gradually begin to notice the sounds that are farther away from you, the most distant sounds that you can barely hear, and then the furthest sound of all. When you feel you want to, begin to bring your awareness back to the sounds closest to you again. Enjoy the peacefulness and stillness that this simple practice can offer.
When practiced regularly mindfulness can help us to build emotional resilience, helping us to deal more effectively with the stress of our busy lives. It can help with pain and insomnia, and it is free and easy to do.