Mindfulness is an often used term but what´s the defintion? This article explains about how to define mindfulness and your why mindfulness is important for you.
Let start with the question of what mindfulness is. One defintion could be that it´s the incredible human ability to be present in the here and now in full consciouisness. We are aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness is a quality that every human being possesses, you just have to learn how to access it. Or as Mark Williams put it:
Being mindful means that we suspend judgment for a time, set aside our immediate goals for the future, and take in the present moment as it is rather than as we would like it to be –
Mindfulness is not something esoteric or spritistic. There is nothing fancy or special in just being ourselves, we just practise how we already are. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. The only thing we need to do, is to cultivate these innate qualities.
Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit, it’s easy to learn, it brings awareness and it reduces stress. A few minites a day are already enough and you´ll soon see its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
In the following article I´ll show you mindfulness therapy exercises, activities, practice, techniques, guided meditation, and mindful breathing suggestions.
How to start a mindful lifestyle
One of the most wonderful things about mindfulness is the fact that you can start now and you don´t need any prerequisites. It´s an active decision to go through the day more mindfully and observe your reactions to people and situations. Mindfulness will help you to put some space between yourselves and your instand reactions. It will make you stop doing something that have a habit to do and re-think your reaction. Therefore nearly every task we perform in a day can be done more mindfully. Here a simple wayto get started and about how to start a mindfulness based lifestyle right now:
First, find a quite place and have a comfortable seat. There is no need for any meditation pillows or something similar. As lon as you feel comfortable it´s fine.
Now observe the present moment as it is. Focus on your breath and repeat the words „Here and now“ while inhaling and exhaling. The aim of mindfulness at this stage is not quieting the mind The goal is to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment.
Let your thoughts pass by. When you notice judgments arise during your practice, simply make a mental note of them and let them pass. Then, return to observing the present moment as it is. Repeat that as often as necessary. Mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t get emotional or frustrated. Let your mind find its own pace to get back to the present moment. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will follow within time.
Since we have technology at our side, we can also use it for our mindfulness practise by using a mindfulness app. You can try one of those linked here.
Mindfulness meditation is the most basic form of meditation. It needs absolutely nothing and everybody can do it. As shown before, the main priority is to stay in the moment and remain there.
If you are totally new to meditation, check out our meditation starters guide right here:
Set an amount of time you’re going to practice” for. If you’re just starting, begin with five or ten minutes. Eventually, you will be able to stay in the position for far longer. Many people do a session in the morning and in the evening, or one or the other. If you feel your life is busy and you have little time, doing one of those is better than doing none. Everytime you squeeze out a few minutes you can do a bit more.
Find a quite spot in your place, ideally where you feel best and most calm. Leave the lights on or sit in natural light, that´s up to you. You can even sit outside if you like.
Mindfulness meditation focuses on the breath. It privides you the pace and you have an anchor to cling on to always be in the present moment. Throughout the practice you may find yourself caught up in thoughts, emotions, sounds—wherever your mind wanders, simply come back again to the next breath.
9 step meditation practise
1 – Schedule a time to practise and use your phone or a clock with an alarm to don´t overdo it.
2 – Take a seat, preferably on a chair or on the floor on a pillow or a blanket. Most important thing is that you feel good and comfortable. Do not lie down! Chances are you´ll fall asleep.
3 – Notice what your legs are doing. Try to be fully aware of the situation on your body posture. E. g. your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your spine.
4 – Let your hands rest on your upper legs or let them hang aside of your body.
5 – You can close your eyes but it´s not necessary. As for the start, I would recommend to keep them closed.
6 – Now feel your breath. Feel the up and down of your breast and the tiny momvements in the rest of your body. Be in the moment and feel the air moving through your mouth and nostrils.
7 – Recognize when your mind wanders away from your breath. Sooner or later your attention will leave the breath but that´s just natural so don’t worry. There’s no need to block or eliminate thinking. When you notice your mind start to wander then gently return it to your breath again.
8 – Don´t be mad about your mind when it just comes up with more and more thoughts about your daily troubles. Be kind and give yourself time. Instead of fighting with your thoughts, practice observing them without reacting. Think about them as clouds. They are there but they pass by, no need for action from your side. Come back to your breath over and over again, without judgment, without expectation, without pressure.
9 – When you feel ready, or the alarm goes off, gently lift your gaze and open your eyes in case they were closed. Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment, the room around you, the light coming in from the windows or the lamp in the room. Take nother moment and focus how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Pausing for a moment, decide how you’d like to continue on with your day.
Well, and that’s already it. People tend to say it’s very easy, but that´s not necessarily the case. The work is to just keep doing it and practise until you finally can reap the benefits of mindfulness.
As for some motivation, here a few quotes about mindfulness from great spiritual leaders of the past and present.
Mindfulness can help you in various situations. By spending time practicing mindfulness you’ll soon find yourself feeling kinder, calmer, and more patient. These shifts your experience of life and you are able to really live in the present moment and enjoy life as it is, without judgement.
Use mindfulness meditation to hone your innate ability to focus, to reduce brain chatter and the self-doubts and negative self-talk. It can help you to better understand your issues or help you re-evaluating your relationships. In fact, you´ll have a better connection to your physical wellbeging too since you attentioned circles around your body.
Overall, being in a mindful state of mind, you´ll see the world with different eyes and be able to live life to the fullest.
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