What is Mindfulness?
The clearest definition of mindfulness is focusing in the present moment without judgment or attachment to the moment. It might sound easy, but so many people struggle with accomplishing this task.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
When you practice mindfulness, you will reap such a beautiful harvest. Numerous situations can be minimized if we chose to adopt this practice. Allowing your mental health to be re-booted tremendously changes your physical health. It’s all about alignment!!
Give yourself clarity. Permit your mind to wander…over the good and bad. Don’t attach to it; but acknowledge it, sit there with it & DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO. You’ll be amazed at all the areas of your mentality that will be unlocked and recharged when you do this.
Give yourself rest. How much easier will life be if we aren’t dealing with dizziness from high cholesterol, aching backs from stress, painful joints from fatigue? Authorize your body to heal…give it permission to stop turning on itself. So many times, our bodies only react to the state our minds are in.
If both those conditions are in pristine shape, the totality of life will change dramatically. You’ll find out that what seems to be an overwhelming situation, is just a matter of perspective. Overall…it will improve your well-being and you will just perform better in life!
Practicing Mindfulness: 5-Easy Steps
· Stillness vs. Meditation;
· Stillness – the absence of movement or sound
· Meditation – written, spoken or silent contemplation of thoughts
Most people normally confuse the two practices, and with my clients, I’ve found that quiet time works well. Here, I’ll show you 5 steps to “being still” that will greatly benefit your life.
Step 1: The “First-5” technique: Take five-minutes at least three times a day to anchor your thoughts and mindset. The goal is to always be in the moment and aware.
There are four questions that I use to center my thoughts before I get quiet or still:
· How am I feeling?
· What are my thoughts?
· Am I focused?
· Am I accepting?
Step 2: Find a place where you can commune with nature (park, lake, back yard, woods). If this is not an option, create a space with flowers, plants and aroma.
Step 3: Determine the purpose of your mindfulness; quietness (no distractions), stillness (soft music), mindfulness (state of acceptance & no judgement) and purpose (openness & possibilities).
Step 4: Expand your mind: As you proceed throughout the day become more aware.
· What are you thinking & focusing on?
o What is the picture in your mind? Hope or despair?
· What is your body posture?
o Is your back straight, are your shoulders back, is your head held high?
· How are you viewing others?
o Are you being pessimistic or optimistic?
· Are you practicing gratitude?
o Are you thankful for all the GOOD you have in your life? Or are you focusing on what is not going right?
· Are you savoring pleasure?
o Are you only enjoying special moments or events? Or savoring the simple things in life, like eating, being with friends, freedom to choose, etc.?
· Step 5: Delight in the involuntary and natural.
· Breathe: Many of us breath fully but breathing DEEPLY gives you the ability to appreciate every single in-and-out of your lungs; rejoice in the beauty and wonder of life. Be mindful of the privilege we have to fully live.
· Smile: We normally smile when we’re decidedly happy, but what about random moments? Are you approachable and pleasant? I was told in my senior year in college by a fellow classmate, “Hey, I have never seen you smile before.” I had many classes with him and it shocked me to realize that I always seemed “too serious”. I became mindful of my disposition because I wanted my delightfulness to be visible.
· Think: Life happens! Everyday won’t be your best & bad things do occur. But if we choose to emphasize the profitable, find the “golden nugget”, spark of hope, ray of sunshine…you are in a state of being mindful about the positive aspects of things regardless of the negative.
Being mindful is ultimately tapping into awareness, clarity and direction. Practicing it…exercising it, you will gain the confidence to go for your dreams and FULFILL YOUR PURPOSE in life!
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