Being Mindful that is Mindfulness is simply, “being in the moment”.
Am I oversimplifying it? Actually not! Mindfulness is “Being Mindful” is actually quite simple and straightforward, however, we the over-thinking (I say this kindly) people, have made it into a complicated and difficult state to be in. So much so, some even equate Mindfulness to being a Skill!Being Mindful that is Mindfulness is simply, “being in the moment”. - #isheeria Click To Tweet
THREE aspects of Mindfulness
There are three parts to being Mindful:
What is your intention behind wanting to practice mindfulness?
Do you want to be more aware of yourself? Reduce stress? want more emotional balance?
Your intention is a strong motivator for your daily practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is about paying attention. Paying attention to both what is going on around you, and also, what is going on inside of you.
You become more aware of your surroundings as well as your inner dialogues as you practice being mindful.
As you practice mindfulness, you also pay attention to your attitude.
Your attitude, approach, and perspectives all come under your own radar as you pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
BONUS TIP: Pay Attention to how you speak with yourself!
Be Kind, Be Gentle, Smile at yourself.
Ever wondered how mindful you are in your everyday routine?
Researchers use is a 15 item questionnaire to measure mindfulness called the Mindful Awareness Score (MAAS). You can download this FREE Quiz here.
Benefits of Being Mindful / Practicing Mindfulness:
Mini – Break
Practicing mindfulness is a mini-break for your mind from all the thinking & worrying we are constantly doing (sometimes you feel like the wheels of your brain are turning and churning all the time!)
Helps Reduce Stress
Stress, whether you realize it or not, is taking its toll on your health, well-being, and chakras.
(sign up for the newsletter if you would like to learn easy ways to Heal yourself and take care of your well-being).
Mindfulness can change and save your relationships
Relationships are beautiful and complex. Whether between partners, family members, or friends.
Sometimes, a word said in haste can cause much regret and miscommunication and then hours of straightening things out. Mindfulness can help change how you respond (instead of react) and can save your relationships.
Read a helpful article about this on EverydayGyaan here.
As we practice mindfulness, we become more present in the NOW, and stop living so much in the past, the future, and in our worries.
“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone” – Alan W. Watts
Increases Focus Levels
We tend to fully engage in what we are doing because as we become more mindful, we become more aware of the present moment, more aware of what IS NOW.
We zero in on what IS, and ignore the rest. This results, in higher focus levels (and in my experience, an immersive experience in the activity you are involved in! I find I am single-minded and at peace during the task – resulting in a better quality of output, taking lesser time, and being happier with the whole experience)
THIS VERY MOMENT
Over time, you will find as you practice being mindful, that:
Firstly, mindfulness becomes a way of being for you
And, secondly, that you are free from distraction and judgments. While you are aware of your thoughts and feelings, you do not get caught up in them (and swept away in a tide).
Think of it as, the ability to take a step back, see clearly what is in front of you, and then being able to take considered action and initiate thoughtful dialogues.
I like to think of it as having space in my brain J to think! Before I act!
Is Happiness a subject that interests you?
Check out these articles by some excellent writers as they talk about Happiness!
METHOD – 5 Easy methods to practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is practiced by BEING IN THE MOMENT.
Breathe – Just pay attention to your breath.
Inhale – Exhale – Inhale – Exhale.
Do this for three minutes and start seeing the difference.
When eating, pay attention to each spoonful. Look at the color and shape of the grains, chew and feel the texture and taste. Can you distinguish the spices and herbs?
The Methods suggested below are very helpful in becoming more mindful (easily) –
1 Body Scan
Lie down, or sit or be in any comfortable posture. Ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothes.
Relax the body and mind and become aware of yourself – your body, thoughts, breath, and energy.
Become aware of each part of your body, Inhale and clench/ bunch/tighten the muscles of that area, and then exhale as you release and let go of tightening up the muscles – you will feel a calm rush of energy to that area as you relax that part of your body. Feel as the tension slips away from that area.
Move on to the next part of your body, start from your toes, and work your way to the top of your head.
Keep a gentle smile on your face as you simply clench and release the muscles in each area of your body.
A super easy way to release all the tension in your body?
Take a big yawn and stand and stretch wide every hour (or as needed).
Going for a walk (without plugging in your earphones) and paying attention to the sounds and sights around you is a great way to become mindful.
You can also practice Yoga, Tai chi, Qi gong, or any other form of mind-body exercise.
3 Mindfulness Meditation
There are ample of apps available these days, which guide you through meditations. You can choose the kind that resonates with you. Whether a guided meditation, or meditating on an image that resonates with you, or a sound or even a candle flame. Choose the method that seems more comfortable for you.
Meditation allows you to change your mindset and move from high-frequency brain ways to lower frequencies.
Over time, it can actually change the shape of the brain and build new pathways.
I share three easy ways to meditate in this short article here. Check it out to get started on your journey with meditating and becoming more mindful.
4. Create Something
Spend some time doing something that you enjoy.
It could be a creative hobby like Art or Craft or photography or a practical-yet-creative hobby such as cooking or woodworking or knitting.
5. Self-Reflection and Journaling
Self-Reflection is a great way to look within and become aware of our thoughts and feelings.
The easiest way to see your pattern and understand yourself better is to keep a journal and reflect upon your day with some self-assessing questions.
Journaling is by far one of the best tools when it comes to building a mindfulness practice.
Spend 5 mins (or more) every day in contemplation and reflection.
Some Journal Prompts: Ask yourself:
What are the three things I am grateful for today?
How do I feel today? What is the story I am living? (very powerful and helpful in identifying the role you are playing)
What were the three things I spent most of my time on today? How did I feel while doing them?
What I am looking forward to in my day, tomorrow? (This is a very powerful exercise as it allows you to set intention and create your day).
And my favorite,
What made me smile today?
A Bonus Method
If you would like to explore Mindfulness, a great way to get started is to participate in the mindful break with Shinjini at TheModernGypsy. She has come up with some lovely prompts to guide us as we take a pause and become mindful. Join her (every year from 15-30 October).
You can join me on my journey of #TheMindfulBreak on Instagram here.
For a personal reading and consultation, connect via email on firstname.lastname@example.org