Mindfulness Moment

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Tiffany Arrows-Price 0:09 Welcome. This is Dr. Tiffany Arrows-Price, regional director of specialty and outreach services at New Vista. Please join me in a meditation practice focusing on deep breathing and mindfulness. Thoughts are a part of everyone's human experience. You don't need to push them away in order to practice mindfulness. Learning to bring your mind back from its thoughts is the practice. But how do you let go of the thoughts once they've pulled you in? This exercise offers one way to unhook yourself from those thoughts and simply let them be. Without pushing away the thoughts or denying their presence, you can be aware of the thinking mind while remaining calm and happy. Are you ready to begin? Let us first practice deep breathing and relaxing our mind. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. And now close your eyes. Whatever thoughts come to mind at this point, simply observe from a distance and allow them to pass. Place one hand on your belly and one over your heart. Bring attention to your breath, particularly the pause between breaths. As we begin to breathe, I want you to visualize your lungs filling up like large balloons beginning from the lowest part of your lungs from your diaphragm and expanding up to the top until very full of fresh air. Feel your belly rise as you breathe and fall with each exhale. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four and then out of your mouth to the countless. No need to strain to do this. Do this as comfortably as you can while focusing on the pause between inhaling and exhale. If thoughts intrude, notice them and let them float away. Bring your focus back to your breath. Now, let's take in five full and deep breaths together. Inhaling nice big breath expanding your belly in your lungs as much as you can. And exhale, exhale gently with relief. Inhale fresh oxygen to refresh your body, holding it to soak it in and exhale fully. Inhale feeling rejuvenated and invigorated by this breath. Exhale easily. Three. Inhale, noticing how breathing fully comes naturally for you. pausing to soak it in and exhale any tension or worry and now inhale fully as an act of self love, pausing to feel this love and exhale and to complete relaxation. Now allow your breath to flow at a natural and comfortable pace without any effort from you. Good. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as their resting system. By breathing deeply and often you are commanding your body to rest, which relaxes and rejuvenates you. You may repeat this exercise as much as you like to achieve relaxation. Now, let's honor ourselves by relaxing the mind even further. We will learn to use visualization to free ourselves from our own thoughts. Continue breathing in and out deeply and comfortably with a natural rhythm. Now, imagine yourself sitting on a grassy clearing in a forest. Your back rests against a tall strong tree. It is a beautiful sunny day, the light dabbling in dancing through the tree tops. A gentle rustle surrounds you as the breeze swirls through the branches of her head. The fresh scent of wildflowers fallen stones, leeves, and growing grasses surround you. The sounds of the forest come alive. You're safe here. You look up into the sky peeking through the clearing and notice that birds are coming and going between the tree branches and tending to their day. Observe the birds watch. Them enter into your sight and then exit. Some of them are beautiful and you wish you could get a closer look. Others may make an unpleasant caw, or simply pass overhead without much more interest no matter they come and they go. You notice you acknowledge. Your attention then shifts back to your breath in the present moment that you are currently in. Now imagine that those birds are your thoughts. Do you notice a thought that comes forward in your mind? Give yourself a moment to notice the thought. Acknowledge that it is there. Honor yourself and how you feel about it. Accept that it is time to allow the thought to leave. Now, watch as it flies away, getting smaller and smaller as it disappears into the sky. Gone. Allow yourself some time to continue this observation. Breathe in and out at a comfortable pace. Take notice of how your body feels and what thoughts arise. You may notice yourself planning, fantasizing, figuring out or replaying past experiences. Whatever you observe the mind doing, let it be. When you recognize a thought what happens, try not to encourage the thought, but don't push it away either. Allow it to be. Allow it to go on its own. See if you can watch the passing of the thought as it follows its natural path and leads the mind. Return again to the breath and patiently wait until another thought arises. Notice it, watch the thought. Come back to your breath again. Continue with mindfulness of breath, and your thoughts. Notice when you're lost in thought or when the mind wanders for some time. Be kind to yourself if you find your mind wandering, or if self judgment arises, and notice that just as you would any other thought. Stay with this mindfulness practice for as long as needed to feel acknowledged and heard. You may feel relief that the thoughts and anxieties of the day have been observed and invited to go on their way. Regular practice of this exercise can help you in your path towards wellness. When you are ready, you may wiggle your fingers and toes. Gently move your arms and legs and then open your eyes. Thank you for joining me for a mindfulness moment. I wish you well.