Mindfulness is a state of awareness. It is a way of life, living mindfully, in the present moment. It is to not allow the mind to project towards future anxieties, or the past. It is allowing the mind to settle into the Now, becoming aware of the eternal present moment. It is just simply being. There’s never been a more important time to practice mindfulness. All around us there is fear, uncertainty & worry and a sense of being out of control. But when we rest our mind into the present moment we can reduce anxiety, calm the system and find a sense of peace. We become empowered to take care of our own wellbeing.
Below are 5 ways to introduce mindfulness into your daily life:
1. Awareness of the Now. Allow yourself time and space each day to pause, especially first thing in the morning, be silent and just be. Allow the mind to rest and settle down. Become aware of the present moment with no projected thoughts into the future or past.
To do this, sit somewhere quiet (preferable in a garden or amongst nature – even if that means a window view to a tree outside or the sky). Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and become aware of the Now. The endless present moment. Take a few moments to notice the sense of peace in the present as it is. As you open your eyes, connect and observe nature, you can hold that sense of well-being and connect with it any time you wish throughout the day.
2. Notice thoughts, emotions & body sensations without judgement. Enhancing your ability to bring your full attention to your current experience, without judgement, can be really helpful when thoughts or feelings are running wild. Any thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations that you become aware of, allow them to surface, just observe. This trains the mind to be ok with pleasant and unpleasant sensations by accepting the present moment as it is. We’re not trying to change or “fix” and anything. Practice awareness, compassion & acceptance. Great way to start noticing and allowing this is to do a “body scan”:
How to do it:
Sitting or lying down, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths.
Bring awareness to the body and notice the sensation where your body makes contact with the seat or floor.
Intentionally send your attention to your feet (or whatever part of the body you want to observe first).
Notice any sensations. These include tingling, pressure, buzzing, tightness temperature, or anything else you notice. It may just be neutral. Just tune in to what’s present, without judgement.
Each time your attention wanders, simply notice that this is happening, then gently direct your attention back to exploring sensations in the body.
Next, intentionally move your focus to another part of the body, keep being curious and just notice sensations.
Repeat, spending as much time as you would like at each area – enjoy!
When you’ve finished your entire body exploration, spend a few moments expanding your awareness to feeling your entire body breathing freely.
Open your eyes and move mindfully into the moment.
3. Focus. Give something your undivided attention by focusing on one thing at a time. Mindful eating is a great way to practice being present, eating slowly and focusing on every sensation of the meal. Nature is another powerful way; sit and feel the suns energy, notice its warming sensation. Go for a walk amongst nature and focus attention on its wonder and beauty Watch a bird flying, singing, or observe a simple flower or leaf, focusing attention on every detail.
4. Observe. When first introducing mindfulness practice some people find it beneficial to set a reminder, say every hour, to check in with self and bring attention into the Now. For instance, pause and observe, without judgement, during the day any time you become aware that your mood has dipped. Notice recent thoughts and where attention was focused. Were they future focused creating feelings of anxiety or fear?. You may now consciously bring your attention back into the Now, the endless present moment, and connect to a sense of inner peace.
5. Mindfulness technique. Use anytime, anywhere to become the present in this moment. The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is a simple way to being attention into the Now by engaging the senses one by one. When we do this our thoughts are not being projected to the future, or past, they are focused in this moment. First, name 5 things you can see right now (literally, whatever is right in front of you right now – tree, dog, chair, window). Next, label 4 things you can hear, right now. Next, 3 things you can feel right now, followed by 2 things you can smell right now, and last name 1 things you can taste, right now. Practising this simple technique trains the mind to become focused in the Now, still, and present.