Mindfulness is pretty simple but can be confusing with all the information out there. Let’s dive into what mindfulness is first. Mindfulness is being present in whatever you are doing and only focusing on it. If you are driving the car, then you are just driving the car. The same goes for if you are walking. So how do I practice mindfulness?
We can practice mindfulness by setting out specific times when we are going to be mindful throughout the day. This can be right in the morning as you tune into your body and slow down before you leave for work, it can be how you talk to your colleagues and be fully immersed in that conversation, and it can be just enjoying family time without distractions.
Implementing Mindfulness in Your Daily Life
Mindfulness is tricky at first especially when we are first getting into it. Be patient with yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight, but as you do practice it more you will gain its benefits:
- Increased emotional resilience
- More awareness of those around you
- Increased empathy
- More happiness
- Decreased stress
There are many more benefits with increased quality relationships and such but I think we covered a lot. When you start implementing mindfulness into your everyday life it shifts your mindset and how you view the situation you are in. At anytime if you notice thoughts arising try this:
- Start to Focus on your breath
- Following your Inhale through your nose and out your nose. Do this a few times.
- Then notice the thought, feeling, sensation, or belief that is popping up
- Explore what is popping up; acknowledge that it is there. I always advise my Yoga classes to explore and label whatever is coming up in an outside perspective. For example, I am noticing that I feel fear and I notice it the most in my belly.
- Return back to your breath or whatever you were doing
- This is the more applicable version of this technique because it is no fun when you start to stress out and all these thoughts come up. Once you engage in the first two steps you’ll be a bit more calm and can continue what you were doing. Thoughts are just thoughts. It doesn’t mean they are true, good, or bad. Go on with what you are doing and be present.
The technique above helps us to not get lost into our thoughts and carried away with them. We don’t need to feel like we are drowning all the time because it stresses us out and takes us out of the present moment. It even drains our energy due to being stuck in the sympathetic nervous system.
Mindfulness Practices Outside of Everyday Application
The following practices are common Mindfulness Practices:
Meditation is a state of being, think of a flow state of being immersed totally in the moment. The most common practices that come to mind are breath work and visualization which are commonly called meditation. Meditation can be any mindfulness based activity. Check out these 25+ Meditations and 3 complementary worksheets to get you started. Click the button below to find them.
Yoga is a mindfulness based practice that can be considered meditation, but for simplicity purposes it is a practice with a lot of history and it is its own system. Most people think of Yoga as the postures with the breath.
3) Qi Gong
Qi Gong is a standing practice with multiple poses linking breath and movement. There are many different styles and it is a very energetic practice that can boost your well-being and longevity.
Tai Chi is a form of internal martial art similar to Qi Gong but a little more regimented with its standing postures. It can help improve your balance and energy.
All these practices focus primarily on the movement and breath making them mindfulness based practices. When you get into the state of being in the flow, that is when it becomes meditation. Each of these practices will allow you to strengthen your mindfulness muscles. If you have any questions let me know.