What does mindfulness mean to you?

What does mindfulness mean

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.

Be here nowThis 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:

  1. When you get up in the morning be mindful when your feet touch the floor
  2. Try taking 2 minutes throughout your day to be conscious of your breathing.
  3. When walking from place to place at work, be mindful of your steps instead of thinking about the next work problem
  4. When you have lunch, take time taste and feel the sensation of eating.
  5. Get up from your desk and stretch your body and be aware of the sensations as your stretch.
  6. Drink your tea or coffee in awareness
  7. Notice the pause at the end of your breath
  8. Soften you’re belly and notice it expand and retract by itself as you breath
  9. Look at an object and notice how it makes you feel but don’t go into the story
  10. Stop and admire the color of the sky
  11. Try to listen to the chatter in your mind without getting in the conversation

How to be mindful

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.

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12 Comments on What does mindfulness mean to you?

  1. What a great post about mindfulness!I couldn’t agree more! In a world we we are all under a tremendous amount of stress we need to find ways to center ourselves and actually STOP to breathe. Becoming mindful – actually becoming aware of your here & now and accepting what is is a great step in that process. I would really like to read more from you, great insight!

    • Appreciate your feedback Deb. I’m sure if more of us just took a moment to stop, it would do wonders for the world and their life.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this article this morning. I will definitely make an attempt to be more mindful. I see this as an effort to live in the moment at certain times of the day. I tried this out before commenting and so I stopped and had my coffee without writing. I enjoyed my coffee more than I did yesterday as I was able to taste the cinnamon separate from the rest of the coffee.

    I found myself being thankful for the coffee farmers and also the cinnamon farmers. This is a great way to refocus and enjoy the “now.” Powerful words, thank you.

  3. Great post. I recognise this as a very important aspect of our daily lives. I think that right next to mindfulness comes gratitude. Gratitude for what we have. the ability to talk, walk, feel, listen. How our fingers are able to perform the most intricate tasks while I type this post.lol. To have gratitude for a 1 meal a day or 3 meals a day. Some people have gratitude for that only meal of the day not knowing where the next meal will be coming from.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that through being mindful we allow ourselves to feel every of positive emotion that can drive us to be the best version of ourselves for ourselves and others.

    • Totally agree about gratitude as it is one of the most powerful ways to change our lives.

      These are wise words Nabeel and thank you for your comment.

  4. This is an amazing article! Thank you Vince. I used to think that meditation is something you practice once a day in a quiet place next to a Buddha statue. But it is so important to be aware of your surroundings, to be present in this moment. You are so right – you can reduce your stress by practising being in the moment: when your thoughts are ‘calm’ you can hear your heart better and make right decisions.

    • Grateful for your feedback Lina.
      It very common that many think being mindful requires Zen monk skills. We all can take moments of mindfulness.

  5. Great post! I often forget about being more mindful – thanks for the reminder! I love that this can be applied to so many everyday or mundane tasks. Just simply being aware/mindful of eating or drinking is a great example that you mentioned. It’s such a powerful thing! Noting the sensations as you eat or appreciating the sensations of drinking coffee… a simple thing can help us become more in the ‘now’ and helps us be more grateful and positive people. Thanks. Looking forward to your next article.

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