Studies are showing that more Americans are reporting increases in insomnia, stress, anxiety, and depression. This summer, take charge of your wellness by inviting in more mindfulness and presence.

What is mindfulness anyways?  According to the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, mindfulness is “paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is.” When we are able to become present and be fully in the moment, research has demonstrated a reduction in symptoms of anxiety, stress, fear, depression, and an overall increase in wellness.

Where can you begin?

Start a gratitude practice.  Gratitude has been shown to increase positive emotions, get a better night sleep, have a stronger immune system, and in general, people who practice gratitude are able to show more compassion and kindness in their lives. Gratitude goes beyond the typical ‘thank you’ to reflecting on what are you thankful for in your life.  There are moments in our lives that call in gratitude easier than others- for instance, if you have been waiting for a promotion for a while and finally get the call that you got the job!  Yes, you are thankful.  Or its your birthday and your best friend threw a surprise party for you, amazing and overwhelmed with gratitude!  It’s also the smaller things as well- things that sometimes we overlook.  The person that holds the door open when we are carrying our sweet toddler, coffee, purse, and all the things- thank you!  To your friend who knows you are having a season that is not easy right now and sends you a text to check in- thank you!  When you start this practice, it becomes easier to notice the range of things that exist in your life that you can find gratitude for.

To create greater mindfulness and ease in your life, create a daily practice of reflecting on the things that you are grateful for in this moment.  Or maybe you create a gratitude jar so your whole family can participate, and then at the end of the year open the jar up and reflect on all of the things that you were grateful for together.  Maybe you decide to write a letter a week to a person you are thankful for in your life, and tell them why.  If we all were aware of the influence and impact we had on each other’s lives, in the good ways, what a sweeter world we could live in.

 

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Amy Green, LMSW, is a counselor and the Chief Operating Officer of Ready Nest Counseling. She specializes in trauma informed care and maternal mental health, focusing on perinatal mood disorders and grief surrounding traumatic childbirth or infant loss. Amy provides comprehensive care through a combination of mind-body modalities and is passionate about sharing practices of self-care to increase wellness in the lives of others. Amy has her Masters in Social Work and is also trained as a breath coach hosting sessions and workshops at Lakshmi Ayurveda Nashville, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher presently teaching prenatal yoga at Blooma Nashville. She has been a Guest Lecturer at the University of Tennessee Masters in Social Work program teaching on trauma informed care and child and adolescent treatment. Amy will soon be featured on New Focus Network with A Breath of Fresh Awe, a new program that features stories, practices, and movements for your soul.

About The Author

Amy Green, LMSW, is a counselor and the Chief Operating Officer of Ready Nest Counseling. She specializes in trauma informed care and maternal mental health, focusing on perinatal mood disorders and grief surrounding traumatic childbirth or infant loss. Amy provides comprehensive care through a combination of mind-body modalities and is passionate about sharing practices of self-care to increase wellness in the lives of others. Amy has her Masters in Social Work and is also trained as a breath coach hosting sessions and workshops at Lakshmi Ayurveda Nashville, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher presently teaching prenatal yoga at Blooma Nashville. She has been a Guest Lecturer at the University of Tennessee Masters in Social Work program teaching on trauma informed care and child and adolescent treatment. Amy will soon be featured on New Focus Network with A Breath of Fresh Awe, a new program that features stories, practices, and movements for your soul.

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