Mindfulness is term thrown around by many and has now produced multiple meanings. What does mindfulness mean to you?
The way I think of it is simply returning your attention back to the present moment. By this I mean bringing your attention to what’s going on outside your head.
This could be your breathing, the feeling of your weight beneath your feet, a sound from a car nearby or watching leaves flow in the wind. It is at these points when we are bringing our attention back to the moment and not thinking of the past or the future.
The way our mind works is that we simply can’t stay in the present all the time. Even if we sit down quietly for a break, our mind wonders to tasks we need to do at work, the shopping list or what we are going to make for dinner tomorrow. It just never stops and we drift in and out of different thoughts.
Even when we try to be present and our minds float away back to our past or future. Being mindful is to return our attention back the present and not to be upset that the mind wonders. Being accepting of our wondering mind is an important step.
How can I be more mindful?
Most think a mindful practice requires 20 or 30 minutes of meditation a day. I believe that it just requires you to bring yourself back to the present moment throughout your normal day. Try some of these ways to be more mindful throughout your day:
- When you get up in the morning be mindful when your feet touch the floor
- Try taking 2 minutes throughout your day to be conscious of your breathing.
- When walking from place to place at work, be mindful of your steps instead of thinking about the next work problem
- When you have lunch, take time taste and feel the sensation of eating.
- Get up from your desk and stretch your body and be aware of the sensations as your stretch.
- Drink your tea or coffee in awareness
- Notice the pause at the end of your breath
- Soften you’re belly and notice it expand and retract by itself as you breath
- Look at an object and notice how it makes you feel but don’t go into the story
- Stop and admire the color of the sky
- Try to listen to the chatter in your mind without getting in the conversation
Why should you be more mindful?
Many of us experience stressful environments. So many people have built up stress from work, family, money, health and social situations.
Being mindful can help reduce the stress hormones like cortisol in our body and help us manage the over stimulation of adrenaline which makes us feel awful.
Reducing stress levels will help us be happier and perform better in any situation.
Also, being more aware of thing going outside our head makes us more aware of others and we become more empathetic to others. Once we become more empathetic we normally get more of this in return from others. This improves our relationships with others.
Improving relationships with others in of our life tends to make us happy.
Need more assistance to be mindful. Check out these free guided mindful meditations you can try right now.
Please leave a comment and tell me what your take on mindfulness is.