If you've heard of mindfulness, but never truly understood how to experience it, here is a short guide to get you started.
In simple words, mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment by paying close attention to yourself and to your environment. It is the act of being aware of the small things around you, connecting to your 5 senses and immersing yourself in the NOW.
Try to remember an amazing sunset or sunrise you once witnessed - maybe while on a summer vacation somewhere extraordinary.
Maybe you hiked up a mountain to witness that precious sunrise moment, or immersed your feet into the sand as the waves of the ocean washed over your legs. You could smell nature, feel the air on your skin, mesmerise your sight with the beautiful scenery and hear the depth of your environment.
This is a great example of a mindful moment.
Being fully immersed and present with yourself and your environment.
5 Benefits you get by practicing mindful living
1. Stress and anxiety reduction
Mindfulness allow you to process emotions differently. You start to see things from a more positive perspective and you become aware of what is causing you stress and how to react to it. Mindfulness allows you to stop and connect to your breath, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system (the system responsible for rest and recovery) and allows you to react from a calm and centred space.
2. Focus attention and avoid distractions
Mindfulness allow you to slow down. Rather than being sucked into the day to day hustle and bustle, you allow yourself to look at the big picture, zoom out, see things from a new angle and proceed through self-empowerment.
3. Less emotional reactivity
Mindfulness trains us to become a witness of our emotions, taking time to process them and react from a space of entering and compassion (to ourselves and to others). Through mindful living, you can feel your emotions fully and become present with them (rather than ignoring them). You also take time to understand your emotions, connect to the root cause and avoid judgement.
4. Relationship satisfaction.
Whether it is friendships, relationships among colleagues or life partnerships, being more mindful allows you to slow down, listen carefully to what the other person is trying to really say, acknowledge their situation, feel compassion and act from a space of love.
5. Increases your ability to feel joy and gain intuition
Mindfulness allow you to zoom out and gain more insight into your life. It allows you to see the big picture, feel your physical and mental cues and act from a space of intuition. When you immerse yourself in every moment of life, you find more joyful moments and gain gratitude towards the simple things that surround you.
5 Ways you could practice Mindfulness
1. Go on mindful walks
A simple yet very powerful way in which you can practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness walks are actually a form of meditation. To engage in a mindful walk, make sure your whole attention is focused on the walk itself. Notice your surroundings, feel the air on your skin, smell nature, look at the flowers and trees closely, notice things you have never notices before, connect to your body as every muscle supports you on your walk, connect to your breath and stay present.
2. Practice STOPing
The next time you feel overwhelmed by your emotions, feelings or cravings, just STOP. Take a deep breath, observe what is happening and then proceed. Do not rush your reactions and do not act based on impulse. Act from a space of empowerment and in connection to your higher self. When you stop, you can ask yourself questions to support your controlled action: what am I feeling? what is this feeling trying to tell me? how do I feel it in my body? how is it effecting my mood? how can I proceed in the best way possible? how can I act from my higher self?
3. Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is the act of engaging all your 5 senses before, during and after eating. Disconnecting from all distractions (yes this includes the TV and your work screen) and bringing ALL your attention to the experience of eating. Mindful eating has shown tremendous benefits on reducing digestive issues, supporting in weight loss, reducing emotional cravings and supporting overall wellbeing. You simple enjoy food more
4. Mindful Routines
We spend a big part of our lives doing the same things we did Yesterday. The same routine, same road we always take, similar food, same friends, same complaints and the list goes on. This is OK! We are creatures of habit. However, it is our role to STOP and ask questions. Is this serving me? am I on the right track? what can I change? what do I need?
Can you go through your routine with more mindfulness? Here are some ideas:
Take deep breaths as you make your bed.
Scan your body as you brush your teeth.
Become present and chant mantras while you cook.
Take deep breaths while standing in long cues.
I can write a whole book on meditation, but if I can tell you one thing now, is if you do not meditate, just start. Really, just download an app...today...and start. Some app ideas are "Headspace" and "Insight Timer", or you can find amazing videos on YouTube (I have a channel you can tune into).
Meditation trains you to become present, connect to your breath and control the mind. It allows you to experience the moment, to experience yourself and to connect to a higher source of energy. Start slowly and consistently...maybe even try a 30 day challenge and see how it goes.
Mindful living can support your overall health and wellbeing journey.
You can experience and practice mindfulness at any moment in your day.
Remember to stay connected to yourself and trust your intuition.
I use mindfulness as a key element of conscious living during my coaching sessions.
Are you looking for a breakthrough? to live more mindfully and consciously?
Get in touch.