5 Ways You Can Help Your Client Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness practices are those that help you find yourself within a present moment, experiencing the moment without judgment. Some people describe practicing mindfulness as a way to observe oneself in the present moment. Because hustle and bustle are commonplace in daily life, this can cause people to experience stress, difficulty focusing, sleeping problems, and emotional fluctuation. Mindfulness practices may help people decrease their stress, improve attention to present moments, improve sleep quality, and regulate emotion. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. In this blog post, we share 5 ways that you can help your client practice mindfulness.
Walking is a healthy way to get exercise. Your client can practice mindfulness while walking by taking a walk in a calm place, such as a nature trail. When your client takes a mindful walk, encourage them to think about the sounds, smells, and sights they encounter during the walk. If your client feels inclined, have them journal the thoughts and emotions that they experience during their walk.
2. Just Breathe
If your client is in a pinch, breathing exercises can be effective in practicing mindfulness. Have your client practice taking slow and deep breaths while focusing on the process of inhaling and exhaling. Work with your client to help them find 5-minutes in their day where they can practice breathing exercises. If they feel like practicing more frequently throughout the day, they may do so.
Gardening can be a great way to practice mindfulness. If your client does not have the space for a garden, encourage them to try potting some plants for their home or outdoor space. When they do so, help them focus on paying attention to how the plant they are planting looks, feels, smells, tastes (if an herb or vegetable), how the dirt feels, smells, and sounds. By helping your client find an activity like gardening that integrates touch among the other senses, you can help your client focus on and process the sensory information they are receiving and experiencing during a present moment.
4. Try an App
There are a wide variety of mindfulness apps available. Each app has different features and focuses. For example, one app may focus more on breathing, while the other app may be more interactive with messages and journaling as part of its use. If your client has a smart device, work with them on finding a form of mindfulness that works for them and research some potential apps that are affordable and provide the kind of practice and feedback that your client would like. Some mindfulness apps to consider include Calm, Breathwrk, & SmilingMind.
Note: Sometimes, GIFS are available that can be effective for free-breathing exercise practice.
5. With Someone
Meaningful relationships can help decrease anxiety and depression. Work with your client on practicing good relationship habits that help them connect with others, such as turning off phones during meal-times with friends or family. In addition, help your client learn to advocate for themselves to address their needs during social situations such as by asking a friend to put away their phone at the table. Dr. Maxine Ruddock shares how people can connect with each other for more mindful and meaningful interactions in this video.
Practicing mindfulness can be an effective way to help your client reduce stress, improve their attention, sleep quality, and regulate their emotions. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. Five ways your client can practice mindfulness include walking, performing breathing exercises, gardening, using an app, and with a friend or family member that they enjoy spending time with. Help your client identify some mindfulness activities that they may enjoy and try incorporating them into their daily routine.