7 months ago
Increased focus, less stress, and a continuous sense of happiness are just some of the benefits mindfulness can bring to your life. But what exactly is mindfulness? And how can you make it part of your lifestyle? These seven tips will help you become one with your mind
You may have heard about the popular meditation technique that enables you to be fully present in the moment. Mindfulness has become a worldwide trend that is no longer just a secret to Buddhists’ better living. Everyone—from big corporate CEOs to Instagram celebs—are practicing it.
But what is mindfulness? And is it something you can incorporate in your hectic schedule?
Here’s everything you need to know to get started:
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the here and now. It is a state of awareness of where you are and what you are doing, without reacting, passing judgment, or thinking about the past or future.
We all have the natural ability to be mindful. But due to modern-day distractions and fast pace, we tend to forget ourselves. We spend most of our waking hours stressing, overthinking, and not reacting to what’s happening right now.
The meditation technique called Mindfulness is all about focusing on being profoundly aware of every little sensation and feeling at the moment they occur. You simply acknowledge what’s happening without interpreting or judging. The physical practice of mindfulness involves breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, and guided imagery.
If you are looking for the critical element in happiness – mindfulness is a great place to start. It decreases stress and anxiety levels, equips you with tools to cope with hardships, keeps you from feeling overwhelmed, and helps you appreciate everything that is happening to you – the moment it happens. It is the perfect method to cope with the madness that is our modern lives.
The benefits of mindfulness:
Sounds like a change you’d love to make in your life? Then read through these seven essential tips and start practicing mindfulness today:
How to Start Practicing Mindfulness in 6 Simple Steps
Step 1: Find the Perfect Place and Time for Mindfulness
To be one with your mind, you must pick a quiet, calm, and familiar space.
It can be a secluded room in your house, a park rarely visited by people, the beach (at nighttime), or any other removed location.
Found your mindfulness spot? Great! Now you must pick an hour in the day when you can invest in yourself without interruption.
If you practice mindfulness at home, make sure it’s used for no other purpose than meditating. This way, your body will gradually recognize this spot as a place for relaxation, and mindfulness will come to you intuitively.
Step #2: Don’t Do; Just Be
Now is the time to stop achieving. Stop running around. This is the place where you stop initiating. Just give up the doing and just succumb to being.
Your mind needs to recharge. You must become aware, mindful. There will be time for being productive. Now it’s time to just cease.
Allow yourself to rest. It is a vital part of living life to the fullest once you finished your mindfulness session.
Step #3: Breathe!
The only moment we are living in is – the present.
And being mindful is living here and now, without dwelling on the past or thinking about the future.
How can we stay present?
By stripping down to the basics: Breathing.
Focus on your breathing. In and out. Take notice of how long it takes to inhale. And then what happens when you exhale. Accept yourself and the fact that you are now breathing air.
Whenever your mind wanders – refocus on your breathing.
Now start acknowledging your surroundings. The voices, the temperature, the touch of your clothes on your skin. Are you smelling anything?
Don’t judge! If you start thinking, “this is silly” or “am I bored?” – refocus on your breathing.
Step #4: Become a Channel
Thoughts will come to you. It is ok. You will pass judgment; that’s only human.
Acknowledge the thoughts running through your head. Allow them to come, and then just let them go. Watch them as they fleet like birds in migration.
Don’t get too caught up in one thought. If you do – refocus on your breathing.
As you progress in your practice, your cognition will eliminate the obstacles more quickly. It will almost feel like an automatic process.
Step #5: Come Back to the Present
Anxiety may creep in. You might feel overwhelmed by the silence, and regretful moments from the past may arise.
Don’t be scared. It’s normal. Simply bring your attention to the moment at hand. Are you breathing differently? Take notice of the way you’re sitting. Are you slouching? Don’t judge. Fix your posture to make yourself more comfortable and breathe.
There is nothing you can do to change the past. No superpower can help you predict the future. All you have is now. And it’s fine.
Come back to the here and now and be peaceful.
Step #6: Finish Your Mindfulness Session but Remain Mindful
Because you are new to mindfulness meditation, 10 minutes per session are sufficient.
Once you practice it long enough, you will discover there is no right or wrong amount of time for meditation. Your mind and body will alert you when the mindfulness session is over, and regular life begins.
But just because we stepped out of our calm place and stopped the meditation doesn’t mean mindfulness is over. Take what you learned in the session to your everyday activities.
Remind yourself to breathe, examine a thought that passes, release it, and keep on moving.
If someone makes you anxious – let yourself be. Don’t judge your feelings. Acknowledge them, and only then can you set them free.
Final Thoughts on Mindfulness
As your mindfulness practices progress, you’ll find that you are feeling calmer, more patient, kinder to others, and at peace with the world. It will bring change to all parts of your life and alleviate many hardships you always thought was an everlasting part of living.
Start with 5-10 minutes a day and gradually build toward 30 minutes. It’s totally in your reach.
Mindfulness has been around for thousands of years. It helped millions of people to improve their wellbeing. There is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t help you too.
It’s your time to commit. Read over the steps we’ve listed, start practicing, and just make it happen. Here and now!
Brian E. Murphy