The Fox Focus 2021 Spring/Summer - Page 17

Fox Focus I Spring / Summer 2021 15
Here are a few ways to be mindful :
Focus on your breath .
Throughout the day ( especially when you are stressed ), pause for a few seconds or minutes to pay attention to your breathing . You can count as you breathe in and out with your hand on your belly or chest to feel the rise and fall . Or simply sit quietly and notice , without judgment , how your body feels .
Write a gratitude list .
Each day ( ideally before checking your email or phone ), write a list of three to five things or people that you are grateful for and why . Be specific . This can set a positive frame of mind as you move throughout the day ( and life in general ). As Michael J . Fox says , “ With gratitude , optimism is sustainable .”
Meditate .
Many kinds of meditation can be done in five minutes or less . They might have you focus on the breath , build feelings of love and compassion toward yourself and others , or repeat an empowering mantra . You can even meditate while walking , drinking coffee , or doing the dishes . ( Many online courses and smartphone apps offer free or low-cost guided meditation .)
Look around you .
Take a moment to stop and really absorb your surroundings . What do you see , hear , feel , and even smell or taste ?
Do mindful exercise .
A variety of exercises can decrease symptoms and potentially even slow disease progression . Certain activities , such as yoga , Tai Chi and Pilates , combine physical activity and breath work , which may be particularly helpful in easing stress . Online classes and smartphone apps offer exercises for people of all ages and skill levels .
Pick one or two practices , do them regularly for a few days or weeks , and see how you feel . If your stress and other symptoms seem unchanged , experiment with others until you find the best fit for you .
“ For me , it doesn ’ t need deep meaning ; it can just be a pleasant experience to help me feel a little better or showing gratitude to family and friends ,” says Dan Kinel , who was diagnosed with Parkinson ’ s in 2013 . “ The simple things are often the most satisfying . Being present in the moment or with others who are there with me in the moment is incredibly powerful .”
The medical information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only . The Michael J . Fox Foundation of Parkinson ’ s Research has a policy of refraining from advocating , endorsing or promoting any drug therapy , course of treatment , or specific company or institution . It is crucial that care and treatment decisions related to Parkinson ’ s disease and any other medical condition be made in consultation with a physician or other qualified medical professional .