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Creativity for Wellbeing Workbook
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Charity number – CHY 5594
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It’s day 28 of 28 Days of Mindfulness!
We did it! Congratulations! Thank you for coming along on this daily journey and making Mindfulness a part of your day.
Today the practice is celebration. Celebrating the practice and the effects it has in our lives is important.
How will you celebrate your practice? You might want to have a Mindful Celebration by taking a mindful walk in nature, or write a journal entry or poem in celebration of your practice. You might choose to perform ‘random acts of kindness’ to celebrate.
You can share your experience with other people too.
Join us tomorrow for Mental Health Ireland Mindful Moment Live Stream on Facebook here Thank you!
It’ day 25 of the 28 days of Mindfulness. Today’s practice is to be mindful of ‘The Moment’.
We talk about being in the moment when it comes to Mindfulness practice but what is the moment. We measure time in increments but the moment can’t be measured in the same way. We want some moments to last, others are ‘fleeting’ and so we try to capture moments, not to let them pass by.
What is the present moment for you? The thing is, life is a series of moments, which we can attend to if we choose. Bringing yourself back to the moment in your mindfulness practice is really about choosing to be present to what is right now, and also noticing that ‘the moment’ is fluid and in constant transition.
This can help us manage difficult emotions and situations, by remaining present to what’s happening for us, without becoming attached because we know it will change. You are invited to meditate on the moment, both formally and informally today.
You can listen to guided practices here or read The Mindful Way Blog.
Welcome to day 24 of the 28 days of Mindfulness.
Today we will look at the what it means to observe without ‘judgement’. Judgement is a normal function.
It is in fact a really important aspect of our humanity, helping us be discerning about the choices we make. However, like most things, judgement can align with our prejudices and beliefs about how things should be, so when things don’t appear ‘ as they should be’, we judge them as bad or wrong or unpleasant.
The practice of ‘Non-Judgement’ allows us to become more accepting, compassionate and tolerant, of ourselves as well as others. Today, whatever sitting practice you choose to do, notice where judgement shows up for you and open yourself to open curiosity, noticing what insights arise for you. As you go through the day, you can observe where judgement and non-judgement show up for you in your interactions with people, places and things.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or read The Mindful Way Blog.
It’s day 23 of the 28 days of Mindfulness.
Today you are invited to reflect on your own Mindfulness practice.
What is working well for you? What are you noticing about practicing daily? Are there challenges?
You can sit with these questions today and notice your responses. Use gentleness towards any adjustments you make. There are other ways to reflect on your practice too, like starting a Mindfulness journal. Make a note of the things you are noticing and the insights that arise from your practice. You can reflect informally too just by observing and being present to your observations as they occur.
You can listen to guided practices here or read The Mindful Way Blog
Its day 27 – we’re nearly there!
Today, the practice is a simple breath awareness. Noticing the breath at regular intervals throughout the day.
Taking a moment to check in with your breath will make it more accessible to access when you find yourself challenged or beginning to unravel. It’s a simple practice, but sometimes we confuse ‘simple’ with ‘easy’. Remembering to practice can be the hard part. Formal breath awareness goes a long way to getting in the habit of checking in informally.
The breath is really the only thing of major consequence in any given moment we find ourselves in. It is such a terrific tool as well. You are breathing anyway, so why not utilise it to improve your wellbeing? You can use it to let go, or to bring in calm or peace. You can simple notice it and enjoy how it becomes softer and more open when you do.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including Breath Awareness practices
Welcome to day 26. Do you ever feel scattered and out of your centre.
It can make us feel a little out of control, like a bag blowing about in the wind. Today you are invited to practice grounding.
Stress and business can take us out of our centre and leave us ungrounded. Simple techniques like focussing on the soles of your feet, The Body Scan and Breath Awareness practices can be a really effective way to ground ourselves.
Using visualisation too can enhance the process, imagine roots growing out from your feet and into the earth. Formal and informal grounding practices, especially when done daily, support your wellbeing and reduce stress significantly. Spending lots of time ‘in our heads’, thinking, planning, worrying, is counteracted by grounding practices that bring us back down to earth, back into our bodies, back home to ourselves.
You can listen to guided practices here including Grounding Tree meditation
We are halfway through our 28 days of Mindfulness.
Today is for reflecting. Look back to see how far we’ve come. Reflective practice, using mindfulness principles can help us to reframe our experiences and promote personal growth and contentment. In today’s sitting practice, you are invited to reflect on your journey of awareness. As you scan your body, noticing the sensations that are present, reflect on any changes or insights that you notice since you started practicing daily. As you bring your awareness to your breath, sitting with the gentle inbreath and outbreath, reflect on your progress with breath awareness. What messages do your body and breath have for you today? Reflect too on your personal awareness. Sitting with what’s arising for you today, reflect on your responses to situations and circumstances. How is your mindfulness practice supporting you? Beyond the sitting practice, reflect at times throughout the day on where you apply your mindful practices and how they help.
You might choose to start a reflective journal to capture your insights going forward.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or Pause to Think
Today is day 11
and you are invited to practice loving kindness.
The sitting practice is to extend loving kindness, first to yourself and then to other people. You can visualise or sense loving kindness as an energy or light emanating from your heart centre. You can then extend loving kindness to yourself first and then to whoever you choose. It is a lovely practice to send loving kindness to our loved ones and friends. It is also a powerful practice to extend loving kindness to someone we are having difficulty with. You can extend loving kindness to people, places and situations anywhere and everywhere before returning to the sensations in your heart centre and closing the practice. As you go through your day, you can practice extending loving kindness to the people you encounter, whether in person or online.
Notice what arises when you practice loving kindness informally.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including Loving Kindness & Self Compassion practices
Welcome to the first day of our 28 days of Mindfulness.
We are starting by getting in the habit of ‘sitting’. Sitting practice requires us to dedicate daily space and time for our Mindfulness practice. The purpose of the following 28 days is to support your practice, whether you have an established practice already, are an intermittent practitioner, or whether you are new to mindfulness practice, we invite you to join us on a daily practice. Today the practice is to sit, just for a few minutes, and notice what arises for you when you do. Notice your impulses and responses to the act of sitting. Be with the experience, without judgement or agenda, be open to what arises in the present moment for you and enter into a space of gentle and kind acceptance of this moment.
You can listen to guided practices here and also enjoy The Mindful Pause and Join us every Monday for Mental Health Ireland’s Mindful Moment Guided Practice Live Stream at 1.30pm on Facebook
Today is day 8
of our 28 Days of Mindfulness and the practice is to return to the breath.
Make some time to sit and spend time in mindful awareness of your breath rising and falling. Use it as a tool to bring your attention back from things that aren’t part of the present moment. As well as your sitting practice of breath awareness, find opportunities as you go through the day to bring your awareness to your breath for 3 or more breaths at a time. If you find yourself waiting for something, this is a good time to practice some breath awareness. If you feel some frustration begin to rise for any reason, take it as a cue to attend to your breath until you feel more grounded again. You are invited to Mental Health Ireland Mindful Moments Guided Practice Live Stream at 1.30pm today. Like our page for updates.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including breath awareness practices
Welcome to day 6.
Today’s practice is to notice nature. Plants, animals, the weather, trees, the air around us all offer us insights.
Nature also has a calming effect on us, soothing us when we’re harried and helping to make us feel more grounded. You might find yourself in a building or built up area, and presume there is no nature around you, but if you take some time, you will find all sorts of life going on around you, maybe a small plant clinging to life through a crack in a wall or an insect making a home. Birds are always a joy to watch.
There is no set of rules for this practice. Simply take some time to notice the natural world around you and be open to what wisdom it has to share with you today. You might decide to do your sitting practice outdoors.
You can listen to Guided Practices here
and Grounding Tree Meditation here
It’s day 22 of the 28 days of Mindfulness.
Today’s practice is Breath Awareness.
The breath is a terrific tool we have at our disposal to create more calm in ourselves. Stress makes our breathing faster and shallower which leads to tension in our bodies and also our minds. Allowing yourself space to breathe is wonderful gift that will reward you in untold ways. Attending to the breath has an extraordinary way of slowing down the breath and soothing the autonomic nervous system. It’s as though the breath says “Oh, Thank you for noticing me, Now I can relax!”. Sitting with your breath and following it in and out of your body can be difficult because the mind wants you to follow it instead. By noticing when your attention has gone somewhere else, and coming back to the breath again, you are ‘flexing your awareness muscle’ and strengthening your ability to focus. Informally, you can avail of opportunities during the day to pause with your breath.
Notice any insights form practicing breath awareness that arise for you.
You are invited to join us for another Mental Health Ireland’s Mindful Moment Guided Practice Live Stream on Facebook at 1.30pm .
You can listen to Guided Practices here or Pause to Breathe here
Welcome to day 21 of the 28 days of Mindfulness.
Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Today the practice is all about being grateful.
Gratitude has been shown to be a very powerful wellness tool. By attending to the things in life that we appreciate, we develop a sense of contentment and actually can rewire our brains to default to gratitude. The sitting practice today is to spend some time attending to appreciating ourselves first and foremost. Extending gratitude to our bodies and all other aspects of ourselves. We might reflect on our achievements and say ‘thank you’ for doing a good job – even a good enough job! We can then explore all the people, places and things in our life that we are grateful for and expand that sense of appreciation and gratitude to them too.
You might start a gratitude journal, writing down the things you are grateful for at the end or start of each day.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or Gratitude Practice here
It’s day 20 of the 28 days of Mindfulness and it’s also Saturday.
The practice today is to become more connected with our senses.
A lovely sitting practice is to check in first with your sense of touch or sensation. Then you move to your sight, hearing, taste, and smell. The practice isn’t to create something that isn’t there but rather to just check in and notice what is already there. Even when we aren’t eating for example, there is some sort of taste or sensation in your mouth. You can also check in with your sixth sense, your intuition. We often overlook this sense but that can come with a price. Informally, you can practice eating mindfully, moving mindfully, listening mindfully, Even viewing the world more mindfully.
Use your senses to engage with mundane activities that you would normally do on auto-pilot and notice what difference it makes to you.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or Pause to See
It’s day 19 of the 28 days of Mindfulness and the weekend is almost here!
The practice today is about slowing down.
The busier we are, the faster we move. That might be physical rushing around but it can equally be a mental sort of rushing! When we take a mindful pause, we gift ourselves the opportunity to tune into the speed we are moving through life at. We get a chance to catch our breath and just be, even for a short moment. It’ is counter intuitive to slow down when we have a lot of things to do, but when we do, we get far more done and much more efficiently. SO today you are invited to take regular pauses to check in with yourself and the speed you are travelling.
You might also take some time to notice the rest of the world and align yourself with people and places that are conducive to a slower pace.
You can listen to Guided Practices here and also The Mindful Pause
It’s day 18 and you are giving yourself an amazing gift by practicing Mindfulness daily.
Today’s practice is to focus on sitting and the being with the sensations of the body.
Your sitting practice can be as short or as long as works best for you. Body Scan practices offer you grounding and relaxation. Begin with noting the sensations of your breath and breath your awareness to all the different parts of your body. The practice is to notice what’s happening in your body without judgement or agenda. This can be more challenging if you are experiencing pain or discomfort. Be gentle with yourself and use a gentle curiosity, allowing insights about what’s occurring in your body to raise awareness about what’s going on for you. Informally, you can practice body awareness by noticing the contact of your feet on the ground as you walk, or your bum and back in the seat of your chair.
Notice your posture and how you are using your body today.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or including Grounding Tree Meditation
Welcome to day 17 of the 28 days of Mindfulness.
Today the practice is all about being kind.
Kindness practice begins with ourselves and this underpins our kindness towards others. When we are able to embrace ourselves, ‘warts and all’ and still feel kindly toward ourselves, we are then much more compassionate towards others because we know they are imperfect just like us, and so being kind to others gets easier. Being kind and compassionate towards others doesn’t mean accepting bad behaviour though. Sometimes, acts of kindness towards ourselves involves removing ourselves from unhealthy people or situations. Begin by sitting and extending kindness and compassion to yourself. Then you can begin to extend the feelings of kindness outwards to the people closest to you. You can also try extending kindness to someone who you don’t like very much at the moment!
The informal practice today is to perform ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ and notice what happens to your mood!
You can listen to Guided Practices here or including ‘Gentle Smile’ Self Compassion Practice
It’s day 16 of the 28 days of Mindfulness.
You are invited to make pausing intermittently throughout your day a practice.
We have a tendency to gather momentum as we go through the day, especially if we are busy. Taking a Mindful Pause to punctuate your day can make a world of a difference to your productivity and concentration. It is often counter intuitive to pause when you have a lot to do but it is most definitely a game changer for managing stress. Take a short pause and rest with your breath, just for a moment at beginning and end of a task, before moving on to the next task. It is a lovely way to start and end a meal too, simply pause and follow your breath for two or three breaths before picking up your cutlery. You can use breath awareness while you pause, or focus on the soles of your feet against the floor. Engaging the senses is another nice way to pause.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or The Mindful Pause here
Thank you for continuing to join us in practicing Mindfulness daily.
This is day 15 and today our focus is on the breath.
The sitting practice is simply using the breath as a focus to bring your awareness to this moment. Moment by moment noticing where your attention is and bringing it back to the breath with gentle and kind curiosity. Spend time with your breath, like getting to know a friend. Pay attention without judgment or agenda. Enjoy your breath and notice the insights that arise through the practice. As you practice breath awareness informally through the day, notice the effect it has on your responses to stress.
You are invited to join Mental Health Ireland’s Mindful Moment Guided Practice Live Stream at 1.30pm today on Facebook.
Like our page for updates here.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or Pause to Breathe here
Today is day 13
and we are nearly half way through our 28 Days of Mindfulness.
Our senses are the means we interpret the world around us, within us and how we interpret what we experience. Today the practice is engaging the senses. The sitting practice involves noticing the sense of touch, the sensations of the body making contact with the seat, your clothing, the air against your skin and my other sensations that you notice. Then bring your awareness to what you can hear around you, slowly working your way from the furthest away sound to the closest sound you can hear before moving your awareness inwards and listening to the sounds within your body. Then bring your awareness to your sense of smell, even if there isn’t much to smell, just notice what’s there and what arises. Then move your awareness to your sense of taste and again, maybe there isn’t much taste but there will be some sense of taste within your mouth and tongue. Then, if your eyes are closed, notice what you can see in your mind’s eye. The shapes, images and movement, light and dark, colours that emerge on the screen of your mind. If your eyes are open, with a soft focus, just notice what’s in your field of vision without making any big effort. Take some time to reflect on the practice and what insights emerged. As you go through your day, take opportunities to engage your senses, look at what you can see in your environment, notice sounds and noises, engage your sense of taste while eating and savour the flavours, take time to smell the roses, or the scent of your loved one.
Use your sense of touch to help ground you, using tactile experiences to engage with your sense of touch.
You can listen to Guided Practices here or Pause to Feel
Welcome to day 12 of 28 Days of Mindfulness.
Today we are inviting you to join us in mindful movement.
The business of our lives often has us moving faster than we should. It also takes our awareness away from our body, leaving us feeling ungrounded and scattered. Mindful movement practices help us to slow down as well as soothe our nervous system. The sitting practice today is a body scan that helps us to notice the movement and also the stillness within ourselves. The movement and stillness within our body is often reflected in all the other aspects of the self, the mind, the emotions, the spirit. Movement is a natural part of being alive, breathing causes movement. Notice the contrast within you between movement and stillness. Align with the stillness and choose movements that feel in flow with what’s right for you in this moment. As you go through your day, take opportunities to observe your posture and movement, being mindful of how you are carrying yourself today. The invitation is to practice mindful movement without judgment or agenda. The practice is to notice.
You can make choices as a consequence, but the practice is simply to notice.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including The Body Scan
Ten days into our 28 Days of Mindfulness
and today our practice is to listen mindfully.
Sometimes we listen so we can reply, waiting to get our say in at the next opportunity. Today the practice is to look for opportunities to listen without a need to reply. You can begin with a sitting practice, listening to your environment, what sounds are around you? You might be tempted to judge them as pleasant or unpleasant, maybe even annoying sometimes! Try to step back from the judgement and listen solely to observe the sounds. Following listening to what’s around you, bring your awareness to the sounds within you, your breath, your tummy, other sounds that you can perceive inside of you. As you go through the day, take the opportunity when someone speaks to you to practice being as present as possible, attending to the person and what they have to say. Notice their words and also the meaning behind them. Listening mindfully can serve to give you deeper insight into how another person might be feeling or communicating beyond the words they are saying. You don’t have to fix or change anything for the person. Just by listening mindfully, they will feel more heard.
You might also take some time to reflect on listening to yourself.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including Engage the Senses
It’s Day 9
and you are doing amazing!
How is your body today? You are invited to practice body awareness today. Our bodies are a constant source of insight and translate our feelings into sensations all the time for us. What messages does your body have for you today? Take some time to practice a body scan in sitting meditation. Then as you go through your day take opportunities to connect with your body, noticing your posture, noticing your feet on the ground, noticing the contact your body makes with the seat you’re on, Notice hunger and thirst as sensations. Notice the sensations of your breath. Notice your energy levels, what sensations signal vitality or fatigue? Just notice, without having to fix or change anything. Awareness is key. You might make more mindful choices for your body as a result but the practice is simply to notice your body today.
Today marks a full week of Mindfulness Practice.
Thank you for coming along on this journey with us. Todays practice is self compassion. Take some time to be grateful to yourself for the gift of making time to practice each day. Reflect on any changes you have noticed from practicing daily. Take some time to sit, and extend loving kindness to yourself. Extend kindness to your body, thanking it for serving you each day. Extend loving kindness to your mind for solving problems and giving you opportunities to choose where your thoughts go. Extend loving kindness to your emotional self, for helping you respond to your experiences and bring meaning to the world. Make a point of being kind to yourself today, especially in how you speak to yourself. You can listen to Guided Practices here including Self Compassion practices
You can listen to Guided Practices here and Self Compassion Practice here
Today is day five and our practice is to take notice of the speed we are moving.
Sometimes, especially if we are busy and become stressed, we begin to rush around and then we gather momentum and find it hard to actually slow down. Following a day of rushing, we might find that we eat our meals at the same pace and when we finally stop at the end of the day, we collapse into a heap, unable to move at all!
Today, as you sit, notice the sensations of stillness within you, align with some stillness and enter into the stillness as you practice.
Sitting in stillness can be a very soothing experience. It can also be a little unnerving if we have never done it before. It can feel alien and unnatural. Notice your own responses to the practice. Be gentle with yourself. As you go through the day, take moments to notice your movements and invite yourself to slow down a little, being mindful of how you are moving, what speed you are travelling at, notice your posture, notice your breath.
You can listen to guided practices here and also The Mindful Pause
Welcome to day four of our 28 days of Mindfulness.
Our senses are how we process what is occurring in our environment. Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch are the channels for receiving information and making sense of the world around us. Our intuition is another sense that we often overlook. In today’s practice, sit with each sense for a minute or so each. Listening to the sounds around you.
There is no need to judge or resent anything you hear, simply notice it and let it go. The same with what you can see. You can do this with your eyes open or closed or try both! Look at objects in your field of vision and notice their shape, colour, proximity etc. Then close your eyes and notice the images that form in your mind’s eye.
Notice what you can smell, just bringing your awareness to this sense even if there isn’t much on the air. And the same with your sense of taste, notice your mouth and sense of taste. You can being more present to the food you eat. Now bring your awareness to your sense of touch. Noticing the sensations in your skin, the contact your body is making with the seat and the floor, the feeling of your clothing against your skin, or a breeze, whatever you notice through your sense of touch. Take a moment to notice your intuition now, by allowing your sense of the moment to rise into your awareness, without judgement or agenda. Simply noticing and allowing it to be.
You can listen to Guided practices here including ‘Engaging the Senses’.
Welcome to day three.
The body is a great messenger. It responds to everything we experience whether we notice or not. The body scan is a mindfulness practice that allows us to connect with the sensations in the body without judgement. As you sit, take time to explore the sensations present in your body, starting with the sensations that breathing creates and then working your way down the front of your body all the way down to your feet, across the tops of your feet, over your toes, the soles of your feet and up the back of your legs and body. When you get all the way up to the top of your head, follow the sensations all the way down across your face, front of your neck and back to the sensation of breathing in your chest. Whenever you notice you have followed your thoughts, gently return your awareness kindly back to the last place you were attending to in your body. During the day, take moments to attend to the connection your body is making with your seat, or the soles of your feet connecting with the ground as you move.
You can listen to guided practices including body scan practices here
Welcome to day two.
Sitting with our breath is a simple practice, but don’t confuse simple with easy. Our thoughts seduce us to follow them, distracting us from what is. The breath is wonderful conduit for returning to the body, to the self, to the here and now. Mindfulness practice is called that precisely because you have to practice. Breath awareness helps us return to the moment, over and over again.
Take time to sit with your breath, simply returning to the breath whenever you notice yourself elsewhere. Be gentle and kind, remembering that each time you return your awareness to the breath, you are toning your focus muscle. Each breath is an invitation to be present to what is arising in this moment. Anytime you find yourself waiting today, use your breath to return home to yourself.
You can listen to guided practices including breath awareness practices here