What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is described as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and thoughts in the here and now. When we become more aware of our own mind, we become more aware of those around us. When we start to become more present and apply mindfulness to our everyday lives, we can begin to see the benefits.
Mindfulness is an extreme sense of awareness. We can observe our thoughts and actions along with the feelings and emotions of others.
Like a muscle, mindfulness is something that we must practice all the time. Times in which we do not believe that we need to practice are the most important. It is easy to be mindful when the world around us is calm. We must exercise sincerely in these times so that when the world around us becomes chaotic, we can remain in this internal place of stillness.
Be Here Now
The present moment is the only moment that we have. If you are continually dwelling on the past or the future, you cannot pay attention to what is. Being out of the now will affect the quality of your life.
Simple ways to bring mindfulness into our daily routines
It’s said that we eat with our eyes first. When bringing mindful awareness to eating this is undoubtedly true. We see our food before consuming it. Notice the colors on your plate. Become aware of the smell of your food. Feel the temperature of the food as it warms or cools your plate. Take the opportunity to experience tasting your food fully.
As you walk, notice the sensation of the air on your face and arms. Feel the ground beneath your feet with every step you take. Tune into the sounds around you. Simply become aware of how it feels to place one foot in front of the other.
As you breathe in, notice the cooling sensation as the air moves up and into your nostrils. Feel the air fill and expand your lungs. In that split second before you breathe out notice how the breath is held in your body. As you breathe out, recognize the sensations in your body as your ribs contract. Breathing mindfully not only increases awareness but is a tool to reduce anxiety and stress in the present moment. The next time you are stressed out try to take a few mindful breaths to bring tension levels down.
Every time you take a shower, visualize washing away your stress and anxiety. Concentrate on the feel of the water touching your skin. Envision the power of the water washing away your negative thoughts. Let it all go down the drain, you’ll start feeling lighter and much clearer.
The more you practice mindfulness, the more you will understand how your thoughts, feelings or sensations influence each other, as well as your mood and the way in which you respond to the world.