There is something beautiful about being present in a moment. Standing there, absorbing and observing everything around you, and igniting your senses. Unfortunately, life can be busy for many and these moments of stillness can be sporadic. We all could benefit from more moments of peace and quiet, but the question remains the same: how can we get it? By practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on being aware of what you are doing and where you are. In addition, it is making sure you aren’t overstimulated or overwhelmed by everything around you. The article “Getting Started with Mindfulness” states, “The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.” You are putting your attention onto one thing and not multi-tasking. In reality, our body is capable of doing this every day; we only need to put forth the energy to be intentionally aware of that process. It may sound as if being more mindful in your daily life seems like a big overhaul, but it’s not. It is a practice that can take only five minutes a day, or more if you would like.
How to Be Mindful
Practicing mindfulness involves taking short pauses in our busy lives. Start with a meditation.
- Find a comfortable place to sit, either indoors or outdoors.
- Be aware of your body’s position, especially your legs. If you are on the ground, cross your legs or assume another seated yoga pose. If you are sitting on a chair, bench, etc., make sure the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
- Straighten your upper body and let your spine curve naturally. Rest your hands on the tops of your legs and at your side. It is important to let your body fall naturally into this position.
- Next, lower your chin and let your gaze drop. If you feel comfortable, you may close your eyelids; however, this isn’t necessary. Find an object to focus on if you prefer to keep your eyes open.
- Now, relax and clear your mind for a few minutes, not more than five minutes at first. Pay attention to your breathing and clear your mind. You can also use a “mantra” or word you quietly repeat. Then, once you feel more at ease, go about your day.
Throughout the process, let anything that comes into your mind go, without judgment or a second thought. However, if emotions arise, feel them, accept them, and then let them go, as well.
Once you have practiced mindfulness for a small amount of time, lengthen the time you are meditating then change up positions. For example, try standing with your eyes open, watching everything that is around you. Before you know it, you’ll be living in the moment in all environments and situations.
Benefits of Mindfulness
There are many benefits that come with being mindful. This practice helps with physical health and can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and ease gastrointestinal problems. In addition, your emotional and mental well-being can also be positively impacted. Mindfulness helps a person adjust their circumstances to live a more satisfied life. A person develops a better awareness of the good things and how to become fully engaged in different activities by focusing less on worries.
The key to mindfulness is to go with the flow, pay attention, and not worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. It takes practice. It is beginning and accepting the process, no matter what situation you are in. If practiced, mindfulness can help many people become more at ease. And after all, don’t we all want more peace in our lives?