“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”
Mindfulness is, to me, one of the ways to a very happy life. I have been studying this topic for the last year, every since I received a meditation book for my birthday a year ago. The concept is very simple; mindfulness is the practice of training ones attention, to pay attention to what’s happening in the here and now. However, the reality is that this can be very tricky, and a lot of hard work, to put into practice. However, once achieved (and I’m still working on this), a much happier life should ensue.
Here is a guide on how to practice mindfulness:
Meditate every day
The best way is to start with 5-10min sessions. I love to do my meditation in the morning before going to work. Find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed and sit straight with your eyes closed. Become aware of your breath as you breath in and out. If any thoughts enter your mind, try to let them dissolve. That is the hard bit. As your mind relaxes, start to become aware of your body, and how it feels. There are many books on offer to help with this task. Visit your local bookstore, there should be a dedicated section to this topic.
The art of being grateful
It’s easy to get caught up in life and to lose awareness of just how lucky you are the have all that you possess in life. Make a habit of writing down what you are grateful for everyday. There are plenty of journals that have this as their specific purpose. Try this one from kikki-k. It lets your write in three things you are grateful for each day.
Spend time in nature
Spending time in nature, whether that be walking through a forest during spring time or along a white sandy beach, is one of the most calming experiences a person can have. Research has shown that spending time in natural spaces has considerable benefits for mental and physical health. So what are you waiting for?
Experience your food
Saying to you that I love food would be an understatement. My friends think it’s hilarious how much I enjoy eating and the passion that goes into explaining the food I had that day. Don’t mistake this with thinking I just like the sensation of eating and thus overeat all the time. I simply love the tastes of certain foods and I love to treasure that experience by eating my food slowly and savoring the taste of whatever I’m eating. I pretty much don’t talk when I’m eating, even when it’s just the boyfriend and I. Give it a go sometime.
How are you going to practice mindfulness today?