Mindfulness is the act of having consciousness over your present state, while still acknowledging and honoring your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. You are receptive and one with your thoughts, free from judgement. Being mindful helps us reduce self-criticism and anxiety, and reconnects us to the present moment.
Important aspects of practicing mindfulness
- Your mind will never fully quiet: Its natural that your mind will wander. The goal of mindfulness is to become attune to your present state free from judgement. Allow thoughts to flow, find peace with any restless thoughts, and always return to your present.
- Judgments happen: It’s human nature to navigate judgment. Work to quiet your inner critic and refocus on the task at hand.
- Seeking control is futile: Although its human nature to crave control, it’s not realistic. You will never be able to control other beings and many of your life situations. Breathe, focus on what aspects you have power over, and release the rest.
Steps to Practice Mindfulness:
- Set a purpose: Discover an intention for the day by asking one of these common questions:
- What is this feeling?
- What do I need to be kind to myself today?
- How can I cultivate more joy?
- Should I focus on short-term or long-term goals today?
- What is my main goal for the day?
- How can I be a more supportive person?
- Set your intention: First thing upon waking up is to set a daily intention. For example: “I want to exercise for at least 30 minutes today
- Meditate: Meditation can be done anywhere. Simply focus on your breathing and current state of mind. Scan your bodily sensations from head to toe. When you get distracted return your focus to your breathwork.
- Notice your breathing: Inhale for a count of five, and exhale for a count of five. Even one minute of purposeful breathing in beneficial.
- Become aware: Notice your surroundings, feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Purposely slow down at any opportunity and pay attention to your five senses, and enjoy the moment.
- The present is the present: Live in the moment, this is moment in time you will never reclaim. Soak in the experience.
- Find peace with yourself: Be kind and accepting to yourself and your mind. When it wanders regard it like you would a loved one. Avoid judgements and reconnect with your breath.
- Reconnect with yourself: It you are struggle staying focused on the moment, its helpful to take a walk to clear your mind. Getting some fresh air and movement can help you process your thoughts, and ultimate release them. Taking time for yourself is helpful.
Benefits of mindfulness
The modern world is overly fast paced, causing people to easily become overwhelmed by feelings and the surroundings. By connecting to those experience, we can reflect on why these feelings and sensations are occurring and what they are trying to tell us. When we become mindful, we can identify ways to improve our lives and nurture our spirits. Be kind to yourself and purposely show yourself love and avoid judgment. Mindfulness can be done anywhere at any time. Begin by allocating 15-30 minutes to quiet solitude and checking in with yourself and your goals for the day. With time and practice your mind will naturally begin to quiet more readily.