WAYS TO BE MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being cognizant or aware of something,” according to the Oxford Dictionary.[1]

We see this term used interchangeably with boosting mental health, lowering disease risks, and even reviving our creativity in the health and wellness business.

This term strikes me as a “power word,” and we don’t have to look far in our social literature to find examples of it. 
But what exactly is  And how do you practice mindfulness? In this post, you’ll learn more about mindfulness. 

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness, according to the popular meditation app Headspace, can be defined as “present moment awareness in whatever we’re doing.” It’s a way of being aware of our ideas and feelings as they arise, without judging, criticizing, or attaching ourselves to them. [2]

In fact, there has been a lot of research done on this subject, leading to the establishment of a questionnaire to see where people are on their mindfulness journey.

Take the Mindful Attention Awareness Score if you want to see where you fall on the mindfulness scale (MAAS).

Now that we have a better understanding of mindfulness, let us put it into practical language to help us envision it in our daily lives. Consider your daily commute.

Instead, we can include mindfulness into our work commute by becoming aware of our seat, how our hands feel on the steering wheel, the temperature in the car, our breathing, the pictures around us, and the noises outside and within the car. These are only a few instances, but the objective is to be fully immersed in the driving experience.
When we observe emotions arise as a result of being cut off or being stuck in a long traffic line, we can approach them with mindfulness rather than reacting hastily.
The wonderful thing about mindfulness is that it can be done at any time and in any place.

Many of us find traffic to be an emotionally draining experience (don’t worry, it’s OK). When someone cuts us off, we may become enraged and conclude that the individual is unpleasant and rude in general. The truth is that we don’t know if that individual is late, too, or if they’re dealing with a family situation.

In our minds, our emotions and a riled-up ego create narratives that subsequently control our response. This not only causes tension at the time and throughout the day, but it also builds habit patterns in our neurological wiring that drive us to continue this behaviour in the long run.

1. Meditation

Meditation is perhaps one of the best techniques to practise mindfulness. This exercise focuses on being present and seeing what ideas and feelings arise.

Meditation can be done in a variety of methods, all of which are tailored to the individual’s preferences and goals. Starting a beginner’s meditation practise is a great way to get started with the various tools that this lifestyle provides.

Similarly, there are a variety of resources to learn from, such as the or Insight Timer apps on your phone. These apps include teacher-led recordings that you can listen to whenever and wherever you like.

2. Walks in Nature

Everyone’s first teacher is nature. A wonderful and simple method to reset our entire system is to go outside and take a break from job, family, and to-do lists. Being outside provides many opportunities to practise mindfulness, whether it’s a stroll through your favourite park or a lengthy day trek.

There is even a movement called Forest Bathing that is dedicated to this.

The goal is to focus on the current moment and action of stepping outside: feeling the earth beneath your feet, how firmly or softly you tread on the ground, the smells and sounds around you, and whatever thoughts, feelings, or memories this brings up for you.

Nature walks can be incredibly therapeutic. Staying in that present moment and letting go of the day gives room for creativity, clarity, and deep inner connection.

3. Journaling

Nothing is more present than sitting down with your thoughts and allowing them to flow freely. Another therapeutic tool at your disposal is writing, which can be used to develop a rich mindfulness practise.

Journaling can take the form of keeping a journal or simply writing down ideas or experiences that are particularly heavy or perplexing.

This technique frequently results in clarity and the discovery of a new perspective on a subject you may not have considered before.

Whether you write about a terrible event that occurred or a letter to a close friend or loved one, the practice will bring you back to the present moment. See if you can make yourself at home in this environment. It’s true.

4. Playing with Your Pet

This is one technique to be mindful that I simply adore! Cuddles with our pets are some of the most treasured times in our lives, and they are  based on awareness of the present moment Not only does it help you get out of a mental funk, but it’s also been shown to help with depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure!  [3]

Throw that ball with your dog or pull out the feather toys with your cat the next time you get a few minutes. Not only will others enjoy it, but you’ll be able to observe how deeply you’ve immersed yourself in the present moment. Have fun with it!

5. Cooking a Meal

You may learn about ingredients, cooking times, plating, and anything else by following a recipe. This technique establishes a magical link between you and the food that will nourish you.

Take this strategy to learning something new if you have a favourite dish that you enjoy preparing but don’t need to follow a recipe. On a whim, we frequently prepare familiar meals in an automated manner.

Consider taking a more attentive approach and cooking your meal slowly and methodically. Is it possible to smell each fruit or vegetable before cutting it?[4]

Can you hear the sizzle of food as it cooks, or the clang of cutlery or a knife on the chopping board? As you prepare this dish, what feelings or thoughts come to mind? Allow it to be a multi-sensory experience.

6. Eating Mindfully

As the preceding point shows, mindfulness in the kitchen can be a multisensory experience. Another method to exercise mindfulness is to be aware of how you eat after you’ve finished cooking your meal (or if someone else is cooking for you).

We frequently chew our food rapidly or become distracted by other cues such as the television or our phone.

Try smelling the food, seeing the colors and textures, chewing slowly and deeply to activate all of the flavors, and pausing between bites to practice being mindful of your meal time.

This will not only allow you to relish the moment, but it will also allow you to determine when you are truly satisfied. It is a well-known dietary approach that has been found to be effective.

7. Active Co-Listening

This is a strong technique in our personal and professional interactions, as well as friendships. How many times have you found yourself listening to a friend’s storey while also planning what you’ll say in response?

At some point or another, we’ve all zoned out or become absorbed in our own internal chatter while conversing with someone.

Co-listening is a great way to help us stay present with another person. It also teaches us how to be more empathic by teaching us how to hold space for someone who is sharing.

When you’re next having a discussion, pay attention to what the other person is saying: follow their storey, believe in their courage to share something, and pay attention to their words and body language. These are tiny acts that make a big difference!

We all want to be heard and recognized. Your conscious practice of co-listening sends out a signal to the Universe that you, too, are deserving of the same; and you are!

Final Thoughts

A mindfulness practice is a simple commitment to staying present to whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re in traffic, at work, with loved ones, or alone, you can practice slowing down and becoming aware of what’s going on around you and within you.

This will greatly benefit your mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as the relationships you nurture in your life and community.

Reference:

  1. Lexico: Mindfulness

2. Headspace: What is Mindfulness?

3. Help Guide: The Mood-Boosting Power of Pets

4. WebMD: Crunch! Chew Your Way to Healthier Eating

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