We are all working toward a life filled with Happiness and Peace but realize at one point or another that this might be too tall of an order. In this fast paced word full of excitement, news and pressure it is very hard to stay close to your true self and find that Inner Peace. I have found that Mindfulness can be really helpful and I would like to give you some more insight into what it actually is.
Let’s start at the beginning. Mindfulness is the ability to be full present in the moment. We are aware of where we are, what we are doing and what we are feeling. The things around us are just there and not perceived as overwhelming. It is a quality we all naturally possess but we have forgotten how to make it readily available to us. We accepted that our minds take flight and a lot of us have lost touch with you body. We are obsessed with thoughts about something that is in the past or worry about the future.
With practicing Mindfulness you train you mind to snap back to where you are at that moment and become aware to what you’re experiencing via your senses. Research has shown us that when you train your brain to be more Mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
So, it all sounds quite logical. Be present in the here and now and don’t let your mind take over with worrying. But it is something that is easier said than done. Your mind is totally set in its way and changing will take a lot of practice. Before you start with the “how to become Mindful” – realize that is going to be a long process with much ups and downs. But I can honestly tell you that it is worth it in the end.
Before you start the practicing I want to see that Mindfulness is not a way to quiet your mind. Your mind will wander, just as it is doing normally. That is not the goal of Mindfulness. There is no higher state of being. All you will try to accomplish is paying more attention to the here and now without any form of judgement.
If you find that you mind starts to wander just let it be. Pay attention to the thought that is arising, look at it and then let it drift away again. It sounds so easy but it is hard and it will frustrate you. But the more you try, the more likely you are to be able to do it for longer periods of time.
Another thing that is quit hard is shutting of your judgement. Your brain really loves to judge, especially when it can judge you and your failings. When you start practicing Mindfulness try to notice the judgement, look at and then let them pass. And again – it takes practice!
Practicing Mindfulness is a form of Meditation. There are many different forms of Meditation (which I will talk about in another Blog Post). Mindfulness is something you can practice all day by keeping your focus on the activity your are doing at that exact moment and don’t focus on that what still has to come. You can also take a moment to actively be in the moment. That is the meditation part of Mindfulness and for me it is a moment during to day to be really present and at peace.
The steps are really easy.
- Take a seat
Find a place to sit where you can be along and where it is calm and quiet. Make sure you sit comfortably but not a position where it is very easy to fall asleep.
- Set an alarm
You can practice this moment for as long as you like but setting an alarm is convenient so you don’t need to keep looking on you phone and be distracted. When you are just starting don’t make this meditation moment to long. 5 or 10 minutes is more than enough. When you are more experienced you go up to maybe 45 minutes to an hour.
- Be aware of your body
You will probably sit on a chair, on the couch or on your bed. Weird little me likes to sit on the ground next to our bed – don’t actually know why but it had become my spot. I like to take a seat in a Lotus Position but do anything that makes you feel comfortable. Make sure you can keep this position for a while.
When you find your position close your eyes and feel your body. Feel where your bum touches the seat, where your back touches the wall and where you feet/legs touches the ground. Feel the tension in your face and try to release it. Feel your arms and let them relax next to your body.
- Feel your breath
Be aware of your body as your breath goes in and out. Feel how your belly rises with every inhale and falls with every exhale.
- Notice when your mind starts to wander
Your mind will start to wander and your thoughts start to begin a life of their own. Notice this happening. Take your attention to this thought for a few seconds and then let it go away. For the very visual people try to visualize your thoughts fly away as a bird (it really helps me that way). Let the thought go away and return your attention to the sensation in your body or your breathing.
- Be kind to yourself
Don’t judge your wandering mind or your aching body. Love yourself and be kind to your mind and body.
This is the active practice Mindfulness in a Meditation Setting. It is very simple but not necessarily easy. It takes a lot of work to keep doing it but the results are truly amazing and life-changing.