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Practicing mindfulness

Publish Date: 18-Mar-2020

Dr Luk Wing-si, a clinical psychologist at St Christopher’s Home reminded readers of t Echo that they must not forget to look after their mental needs. Learning mindfulness techniques is a way to connect with our inner selves and be aware of our needs and to accept our emotions, thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness exercises require training, which includes breathing, body scanning, meditation, and stretching practices. People can incorporate mindfulness exercises into their daily lives, such as walking or eating. This column starts with breathing and body scanning exercises.

To conduct mindfulness exercises, people first need to find a comfortable place to sit and concentrate on their breathing. They need to be aware of their inhalations and exhalations without controlling their breathing or adjusting their rhythm. Just note their breath in their abdomen, how it rises as air enters the body and how it falls as the air exits. People can let their attention drift to all parts of their body. With curiosity and an open attitude, people should observe their whole body and be aware of their emotions, thoughts, and feelings without the need to reach a certain state. They need only to observe, be patient, and accept what they are feeling in that precise moment.

During body scans, people can let their attention drift slowly from their feet to their heads. For example, from their chests to their throats, to their stomachs, and be aware of the feelings at each part of their bodies and relax their muscles. If they realize that they are distracted during the process, they need only to gently remind themselves to pull their attention back to the exercise at present.

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