May is Mental Health Awareness Month! One common topic within the mental health space is mindfulness. This practice, “the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment,” is increasingly acknowledged as a way to take care of our mental health day in and day out. Below we’ll share three of our favorite ways to practice mindfulness & explain how Hemp can support your overall health!
This exercise is proven to show physical signs of calmness, with slowed heart rate and breathing. They do say that mental health is physical health, after all!
First, get comfortable! Sit upright and place your feet on the ground with your hands resting on your legs. Then, begin taking deep breaths to center your focus. Finally, engage each of your five senses one at a time for at least one minute each:
Hearing: Notice the noises around you, their pitch and their uniqueness.
Smell: What do you smell close to you? What about smells far away? Think about how these smells remind you of fond memories.
Sight: Look around to observe the colors, patterns, and shapes of items around you. Where did each thing you see come from?
Taste: If you have a Hemp Seltzer handy, take a drink! Focus on the variety of flavors or if you don’t have one, focus on your breath!
Touch: Feel the pressure of your hands on your legs, your feet in your shoes, and your shoes against the floor. What do these sensations feel like?
3 Step Mindfulness
This exercise takes even less time than the five-minute one above. In fact, this three-step mindfulness exercise is great to do even while going about your day. That’s exactly what the goal of mindfulness is, to be able to be present in any given moment!
We all sometimes get into an “autopilot” mode as we move through our day, sometimes not thinking too much at all because, well, there’s just so much we could be thinking about! Here, step out of this mode and acknowledge where you’re at in the present moment.
Breath. Breath. Breath. That’s the primary focus of this exercise — breath work guides a lot of mindfulness practice! Ask yourself: How does my body feel with breath moving in and out? How does my chest rise and fall with each inhale and exhale? What does it feel like to inhale versus exhale?
Once you’ve found a pattern in your breath, keep this sequence of breathing for at least 6 breaths.
Wrap-up this exercise by moving your focus away from your breath and outward to your surroundings. Notice what it feels like to expand your awareness beyond your breath, and go about the rest of your day
Virtual Meditations & Creating a Calm Space
One particular aspect of mental and physical health that mindfulness is well-known as a resource for, is sleep. With sleep in particular, mindfulness may be practiced through guided meditations that draw your awareness toward particular sensations, changes in your breathing, and more. Check out this list of apps that provide guided meditations and mindfulness tools, too! While you do your nighttime routine or get into a habit of practicing mindfulness through meditation, consider adding Queen City Hemp with our full spectrum hemp oil!
MIndfulness is a great resource for all of us to explore, especially as we celebrate and honor Mental Health Awareness Month. We’re excited to practice mindfulness as we take care of our overall health and happy to have you try these exercises. Make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!