Mindfulness is all about achieving awareness in the present moment. Acknowledging your bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings. It’s when you’re feeling angry, anxious or upset and you just stop and focus on YOURSELF. Your breathing, the words going round in your head or your facial expressions.
It’s not all about the doom and gloom though. When you’re feeling happy, smiling or laughing, stop and take in the moment. Enjoy the warm, happy feeling and appreciate it. Mindfulness is highly effective and it can truly benefit your health and overall mind-set.
You don’t need to be a psychologist or yoga expert to be mindful. Although I did first discover being mindful in a hot yoga class. The room is heated to 40 degrees and you’re doing your practise in complete silence, listening to your breathing, FEELING each and every muscle work. It was then that I realised being mindful helps you achieve a higher level of concentration and control.
So how do you practice mindfulness? Well…
To begin practising mindfulness, all you need to do is put real effort into being open-minded. Pick a particular time of day, could be first thing in the morning or the last thing at night, it could even be on your lunch break at work. Whenever it is, just close your eyes and begin to focus. Do you notice any body sensations? If so, where? What do you smell? What do you hear? Just go with the flow, paying attention to what pops into your mind without allowing any type of emotion to take over. If you begin to lose focus and start thinking of what you’re having for tea tonight or what outfit you’re going to wear on Friday, then just breathe deeply and continue to redirect your mind to sensations in the present moment. FOCUS on the present moment alone.
The best way to start practising mindfulness is to focus in on your breathing. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Pay attention to the air that you’re breathing in, as well as the rising and falling of your stomach and chest.
The more you practice mindfulness the more it will enter into your everyday life. The next time you get into an argument with a loved one, you’ll stop and focus on your words. You’ll focus your mind to think of something happier and let go of any bad feelings. After all unpleasant things rarely last in life, nothing is permanent and any bad feelings you do have WILL go.
Give it a try for a week or so, you’ve got nothing to lose have you?