“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Do you want to live a healthier, smarter and more peaceful life? Do you want to get better control over your mind and your reactions? Then mindfulness is definitely something you need to start practicing immediately.
Today, we all live busy and confusing lives where we need to multitask and focus on different things altogether just to survive the day. This has led to severe stress and anxiety in most of us and made our lives more hectic than it needs to be. When you practice mindfulness, you will be able to find the necessary balance and peace you need in your life. By being mindful of our awareness, thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and our environment, we will be better able to live in the moment and experience true happiness.
What is mindfulness?
Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be. – Sonia Ricotti
I am sure you have either read or heard about mindfulness before. Nowadays, most life coaches, psychologists and mental health professionals recommend the practice of mindfulness as it is one of the best tools we have to rewire our minds. However, the practice has been in use for centuries and forms the core of Buddhist beliefs and meditation practices. It will empower you to cope with life better and face challenges with ease.
Mindfulness is a pretty simple and straightforward concept. It refers to your ability to be completely present in the current moment, being aware of your thoughts and emotions, where you are, what you are doing and basically what is going on in your surroundings. When you are fully attending to the time and space you are present in, you are being mindful. However, it is not easy to practice mindfulness.
As you might have experienced already, our mind tends to wander off and goes into autopilot mode. We often become ‘mindless’ and are unable to fully concentrate on the task at hand. We get engaged and obsessed with different, mostly negative, thoughts and worry about the past or the future. This is what gives rise to stress and anxiety. The practice of mindfulness is the exact opposite of being mindless. It helps you snap back to the present moment and allows you to enjoy life as it is right now.
Being mindful is a practice
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. – Thich Nhat Hanh
The only way to practice mindfulness is to maintain a clear and conscious awareness of the moment. You become aware of everything without getting attached or passing any judgments, whether to yourself or others. By paying close attention to your feelings and thoughts you can become an impartial observer and experience life as it happens.
Mindfulness is an innate trait that all of us already own. We simply need to learn how to access and practice it on a continuous basis. There are several techniques that can help you practice mindfulness, like mindfulness meditation along with other practices like yoga and sports activities. Mindfulness also requires acceptance as we need to be aware of our thoughts and emotions without the need for judging them. The practice of mindfulness means we experience the present moment as it is, instead of holding on to the past or worrying about the future. It is one of the most effective stress management tools and is practiced worldwide due to its effects on our physical and mental health.
7 Techniques to practice mindfulness
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” – Sharon Salzberg
So if you are all geared up to start practicing mindfulness, here are 7 challenging yet effective ways for you to get started. These techniques will not only help you become more mindful but it will also help you create a better life for yourself.
1. Appreciate life and be grateful
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis brings about a drastic change in your mindset. By shifting your focus from what you don’t have in life to being happy with what you already have, you develop an abundance mindset. Set aside sometime every day to reflect and appreciate all the people, experiences, emotions, things and opportunities you currently have in your life. This will enable you to feel more positive, feel alive, be thankful, be more compassionate, be kind and even sleep better.