I’ve been thinking a lot about being mindful — about how to be as present as I can. Then I realize I am thinking so much about being present that I am letting it distract me from BEING present! So I tried a little exercise based on one of the mindfulness practices I learned during childbirth preparation: see, hear, feel, breathe.
If you are like me and worry so much about being present that you forget to actually be present, try to stop thinking about it so much and just pay attention! Any moment you want to be fully present for, take a moment to pay attention to what you see, hear, and feel, and then take a breath.
While nursing my baby, I just looked at him. I took in all the details like the way his hair fluffed up, his sweet eyes squinting closed, his soft hand with the dimples under each finger.
Then I listened. I listened to his breathing, and the other little noises he was making.
Then I paid attention to all the places my body was touching his. I felt my hand under his hair, my arm against his warm back, his nursing.
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Then I took a breath — paying attention to the in breath and out breath. I spent a few breaths with each section of the exercise, but you can switch between them with each breath if that is easier.
It was a lot easier to practice mindfulness when I focused on concrete things, rather than just telling myself over and over “be present! be present!” and stressing myself out about whether I was doing it well enough.
I will be trying to take more “see, hear, touch, breathe” moments.
Don’t worry about whether you are doing it right or “enough” — that’s the beauty of this practice. You don’t have to do anything right, you just have to do it.
Comments on How to get out of your head, and into the moment
Becca, I love you!
I’m interested in trying this during LA traffic….
I love you too! That would be an awesome time to try it!
Lovely! I’m guilty of finding digital distraction while nursing my toddler. I will try this out.
I’ve been thinking lately about how to find mindfulness when said toddler is really pushing my buttons and I’m getting close to yelling or reacting in a negative way. Usually it’s stuff that is developmentally appropriate (throwing a toy, throwing food on the ground, opening the toilet lid for the 100th time, putting something/everything in his mouth, etc.) but in the moment, after it’s happened repeatedly, it’s really hard for me to keep my cool. So far I haven’t been successful but any tips from anyone would be greatly appreciated!
I’m so glad you liked this! I’d love to talk more with you about what you find works for you…I have a feeling mindfulness will get more difficult as this little one grows! There’s a blog I follow called momaste that I really like too! She shares her experiences dealing with a sometimes difficult kid!
I follow momaste too!
Last night my son was really getting on my nerves and while I did let it overtake me emotionally for a little while, I made an effort to keep my tone as calm as possible. And I found myself repeating out loud that it wasn’t a big deal, it’s all normal, and I need to just let it go. Saying it out loud, so my husband could affirm it, was really helpful, as was locking myself in the bathroom to get some away time for a few minutes.
I like the idea of saying things out loud! I think the affirmation is definitely helpful!
This is very interesting. I like this idea. I sort of already do this sometimes, but accidentally. I have moments where I feel hyper-sensitive to the things around me. They are usually quiet or unremarkable moments, but they always feel really special because I hear, see, feel details I normally don’t notice. They definitely make me feel good.