Mindfulness is a powerful tool.
It started out as a personal necessity.
The winter was rough on three fronts; academically, financially, and on my health. It was becoming increasingly hard to remain positive despite the fact that comparatively life was good. Partly to blame is stress and adrenal fatigue. Sound familiar? I had excellent family support, loving friends, fresh food, and a home that I absolutely loved. Yet with the dark winter hours along with academic and financial stresses – my health and head space seemed to be taking another beating.
Something had to change and it needed to start with mindfulness (complete with a fun mnemonic and infographic!)
Daily meditation was increased. I changed the light bulbs in the house to be stronger and brighter to combat the winter dullness. Gorgeous green plants were added to the living space. Scents like peppermint, lemon grass, and grapefruit were filling the air from the infuser in my living room.
If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be ‘take action’ kinda gal yet something more was needed.
Taking It One Step Further.
That’s when I decided to start counting my blessings before going to bed. My thoughts swirled with the teachings of our mental health classes (coping skills and mindfulness), sage advice from my naturopathic doctor (practice a little self-compassion), and my own readings to come up with something concrete.
The result is a mnemonic of sorts to refocus the mind on the positive (5), remain future orientated (4), build a positive self-image (3), acknowledge existing supports (2), and instill a sense of control along with an immediate reward (1).
Need Ideas? Here Are Some Examples.
FIVE ALIVE: Ex: driving with the windows down and signing aloud, hiking in nature, dancing, skydiving, running, volunteering.
FOUR FOR MORE: Ex: more time with family, more outdoor adventure, more yoga, more financial stability, increased fitness, more travel opportunities, own your own business, further education.
THREE FOR ME: Ex: I am…resilient, kind, resourceful, thoughtful, honest, loyal, intelligent, empathetic, strong, and/or capable.
TWO FOR YOU: Ex: family, friends, health care professionals, neighbours, community, support groups.
ONE THING I CAN DO RIGHT NOW: Ex: smile for 30 seconds, meditate, go to bed early, stretch, call a friend, enjoy a cup of tea, 10 second dance party in the kitchen.
Originally this was simply a mindfulness tool for myself, then I began to share it with friends and discuss it with health care professionals. People enjoyed it and to my surprise, started using it! What’s one more tool for the toolbox right? So here we are, sharing this little mindfulness trick with the world.