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How to Practice Mindfulness

Do you ever feel like life is passing you by? Feel overwhelmed by uncontrollable situations, and that you’re not actually enjoying the present? In today’s busy world, it’s easy to focus on the next thing we need to do, rather than actually caring for ourselves and those around us.

Mindfulness involves focusing our attention on being fully present, being aware of who we are and what we’re doing and accepting our surroundings without judgment. When we practice mindfulness, we train our brain to refocus on current surroundings, leaving us in a more peaceful and relaxed state. If you want to practice mindfulness, check out these easy steps.

1. Focus on your breathing.
The first step in practicing mindfulness is breathing. Find a calm, quiet place, where you can truly relax and focus your attention on quiet time. Slow your breathing to long and deep breaths in and out of your lungs. Identify your in-breath and out-breath as you go through the motions.

Be sure to sit straight comfortably so your lungs can completely fill in and out. If useful, go through your breaths as you would through counting. Breathe in… 2, 3, 4, 5. Breathe out… 2, 3, 4, 5. Clear your mind as you notice, “This is my in breath. This is my out breath.” Let your thoughts float away as you focus on your slow, deep breaths.

2. Cultivate your concentration.
Next, cultivate your concentration by focusing all of your thoughts on the present moment. Be careful not to allow any interrupting thoughts, such as, “Did I remember to take the dog out?” Interruptions draw you away from the moment and distract your mindfulness. When they do happen, excuse the thought and continue to focus your concentration on the present.

Take in the current moment completely as it is. The goal is not to focus on how you can improve the moment, but rather to accept it completely without judgment. Whenever outside thoughts creep in, don’t feel overwhelmed or irritated. Gently bring back your concentration and continue to relax in the present moment.

3. Be aware of your body.
As you practice mindfulness, be aware of every part of your body and how you use it. Sit comfortably straight, with hands on your knees and arms uncrossed. Open body language lets your mind know that you are relaxed and willing to accept anything that comes. If you’re sitting on a cushion, cross your legs comfortably; if in a chair, rest your feet flat on the floor.

Be sure your body is comfortable and open. If you feel relaxed enough, close your eyes and let your chin drop to your chest. As you practice mindfulness, be aware of your body by focusing, “I am aware of every part of my body. I feel it and accept it for who I am.” Continue to slowly breathe in and out as you focus on each individual part of your body.

4. Release your tension.
Once you’ve become aware of your body, recognize and release any built-up tension or stress you feel. Tension accumulates when we let our bodies go on for too long under stress. But, by focusing on mindfulness, we can help to release all of this.

Focus your thoughts on deep relaxation. By accepting the current moment for what it is, we can release any judgments or stress we feel towards it, and therefore relax the tension in our body. Focus your breaths on any part of your body you feel tension, and let them stay there as you fall deeper and deeper into relaxation and mindfulness.

When you feel completely relaxed, come out of your state of mindfulness and continue through the day. But remember, mindfulness isn’t another thing to check off the “to do” list every week.

Whenever life feels too overwhelming, take time to practice mindfulness in that moment, and appreciate the present for what it is: a gift.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

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