How often do you start off your Monday morning feeling stressed with a long list of things to do? Do you feel like you have lots to get done and not enough time? How often do you miss what’s going on around you as you zip through life?
If you answered “Yes!” to any of these situations, then you could benefit from creating more mindfulness in your life!
Recently when I was training for a half-marathon race, I took advantage of the long runs to practice mindfulness. This practice has helped me to feel more balanced, less stressed, and more connected with what’s going on around me. This could be you too! Keep reading to find out how.
So what is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad.” (As defined by Psychology Today)
“The practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm.” (As defined by Cambridge Dictionary)
In essence there are two components to mindfulness:
- Being in the present moment
Great, now we know what mindfulness is, then how do we be mindful?
Let’s start with being in the present moment. Here are ways that you can do it:
- Connect with your breath. Are you breathing shallow, deep, or quickly? Your breath is so automatic that you can forget about it, yet it is essential for to be alive right now in the present.
- Observe your surroundings. Are you indoors or outdoors? Are there plants, people, or furniture? You may see things on a daily basis but not really notice or connect with them.
- Do one task at a time. Focus on this one task fully. You may notice that you can do a better job at it, which can be more rewarding.
- Bring attention to your body. Are you feeling energetic, sore, or tired? How is your posture? Are your shoulders scrunched up to your ears or are they relaxed?
Doing any of these exercises helps you to be in the Now, by observing and connecting with what is happening in that present moment.
Did you know that being in the present moment increases feelings and emotions of positivity?!
Now that you’re more present, here is how you can create non-judgment:
- Observe your surroundings. Then describe them objectively without using judgemental words such as beautiful, slow, or friendly.
- Notice your feelings and emotions. Are you feeling happy, excited, or sad? Simply notice your feeling without judging it, such as happy= good or sad= bad.
Doing any of these exercises will help you to cultivate non-judgement.
Did you know that practicing non-judgement decreases feelings and emotions of negativity?!
So there you have it. You now know what mindfulness is and the two aspects to creating it in your life. Practice this regularly and soon you’ll feel less stressed, happier, and more in tune with what’s going on around you. Not only that, you will also develop an ability to live in a more enriching way.