Getting Started with Mindfulness for a Healthier Life
Practicing Mindfulness in Daily Life
The mind is a very interesting subject yet difficult to define. Some say its consciousness or awareness, some say its imagination, perception, intelligence and memory, and some believe it’s just emotions and instinct. Tapping into the potential of the mind and applying mindfulness to daily life can do wonders for anyone looking for a healthier and happier life.
To keep it simple, if your brain is the hardware, then your mind is the software. It's the operating system that gathers, stores and manages information, using the massive processing resources of your brain. Now, how can you ensure that this software functions as smoothly as possible and at its best potential? There are many ways to do this, such as: regular exercise, getting plenty of sleep, reading good books, following a healthy diet. However, the most important of all is practicing mindfulness in daily life. So, let’s explain what is mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness simply means being aware in the present. Understanding what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without judgment, and taking appropriate action in accordance with this awareness. For example, while eating an apple you focus on the act of eating and the energy it brings to you.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness can reduce the feeling of anxiety, boost confidence and self-acceptance. It increases the feeling of passion in life, lowers high blood pressure and increases oxygen in the brain which helps you to think more clearly and calmly.
Why People Fail with Mindfulness Practice
Many people don’t succeed with mindfulness because they only think about it in terms of the technicalities of practicing mindfulness, whereas it is more of a way of life than just a technique. For mindfulness to really work, it must become an attitude we carry with us throughout our busy days, not just in the stillness of the early morning. The best way to make the positive effects of mindfulness really stick in your life is what is called Ordinary Mindfulness.
Ordinary mindfulness means applying awareness to even the smallest situations throughout your day. Just like an athlete practices drills and then applies those skills in scrimmages and games, to feel the effects of mindfulness - you must not only practice, but also apply, your new skills in your life.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Here are 5 mindfulness techniques to practice in daily life:
1. Mindful Showering
Spend your first minute in the shower appreciating a wonderful feeling of warm water on your body. Notice how the sensation is distinct on different parts of your body—hair, shoulders, legs, hands.
2. Mindful Driving
Remember how it felt to get behind the wheel for the first time when you were learning to drive? How exciting it was to feel yourself accelerate? For a few minutes at the beginning of a drive, try to focus entirely on the feeling of driving a car. Notice the resistance of the steering wheel as you turn on top the road from your driveway; notice how your seat vibrates differently when you go from a city street to the freeway; notice the sensation of braking and quickly slowing down. Always remember: in mindfulness, the little things in a situation makes it magical.
3. Mindful Music
Try this little experiment: While you’re in your car or some other place listening to music, see if you can listen to one song all the way through without doing anything else (checking your phone, changing the station, etc.) or thinking about anything else (figuring out what to make for dinner, how you would rewrite that one line. Instead, simply focus on hearing and listening to the music. What is it like to feel music?
4. Mindful Cooking
Can you chop a carrot without thinking about anything but the carrot? I bet you can’t. For all those who cook, try applying mindfulness to cooking. Be in the moment and cook with positive vibes without thinking about anything else but the aspect of making the most delicious meal.
5. Mindful Play
What does it feel like to have fun? When you find yourself in the middle of a game - playing fetch with your dog, having a word with your friends or your sister, hide and seek with your son, playing kickball with your friends—check in briefly with how it feels to have fun. If aliens arrived tomorrow and explained that they didn’t understand “fun” and what it felt like (not what it is), how would you describe it to them?
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Audio
Practicing mindfulness can transform your life beyond imagination. So, are you ready for this superpower? Wondering what mindfulness feels like? Gather the experience with our mindfulness meditation formulated by our experts in this guided meditation.