Mindfulness: Why You Need It

How often do you find yourself faced with an increasing amount of distractions or multi-tasking to get everything done at once?

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and relaxing your body.

Mindfulness is your ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not over reacting or feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.

One approach to mindfulness

Meditation begins and ends in the body.  It involves taking the time to pay attention to where you are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of your body. This act can be calming, since your body has internal rhythms that help it relax if you give it a chance.

 

Who should practice mindfulness?

Anyone can begin a mindfulness practice. There are no barriers. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your physical ability is, and if you’re religious or not.

 

How do you practice mindfulness and meditation?

Mindfulness is available to you in every moment, whether through meditation, yoga, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the doorbell rings instead of rushing to answer it.

5 Basics of a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness helps you put some space between yourself and your reactions, breaking down your conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:

1.Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion, bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skill. You do need to set aside some time and space.

2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: you’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement.

3. Let your judgments roll by. When you notice judgments arise during your practice,  make a mental note of them, and let them pass.

4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Your mind may get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.

5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

 

That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The secret is to just keep doing it. Once you are consistent, it will be easy.

 

 

 

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