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“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.”Victoria Moran
Mindfulness is paying attention, deliberately and non-judgmentally to each moment of your life.
And you might ask, “What’s the big deal?”
Well mindfulness is a BIG deal because by developing this habit your entire life will change – in an awesome-sauce way!
…think less stress, more happiness, improved relationships…
(More on that below)
Mindfulness is on fire right now…read up on what the craze sweeping across the nation here!
Today, I’m going to give you 10 easy steps to infuse mindfulness into your life. And these steps will transform your life.
Guaranteed. Let’s get to it, shall we?
If Oscar the Grouch had known these mindfulness secrets he might not have spent his entire life amidst his own garbage grumbling in a can.
You can either jump out of the can, leave all your useless junk behind, or you can stay confined to old ways and habits.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get out and stretch your legs?
By practicing mindfulness you can experience, even if only temporarily, a release from the anxiety and stress of life.
Proven Benefits Of Mindfulness
The proven benefits of mindfulness are:
- Stress Reduction
- More satisfaction in relationships
- Enhanced self-insight, morality, intuition and decreased fear
- Boosted memory
- Less emotional reactions
How can you afford not to give this a shot? Life isn’t a dress rehearsal after all!
I’m excited and I hope you are too, but how do we stop intellectualizing and start practicing?
1. Mindful Breathing
It is said that if you want to save yourself thousands in psychologist fees, simply learn how to breathe mindfully.
The breath is a good place to start, because we are breathing all the time, although usually unconsciously.
By tuning in we can unify our mind and body and become tied to the present moment.
By taking five deep breaths You can instantly feel tension and stress floating away.
Feel the breath coming into your body through the tips of your nostrils and then leaving your body again. Try envisioning your breath as a circle.
Visualize the inhales filling up half the circle then flowing directly into the exhales. It is a continuous motion. Whenever you notice your mind has wandered, bring it back to the breath.
If you want to take it one step further, on your inhales envision white healing light entering your body and on your exhale envision anxiety and tension leaving your body. Leave reminders for yourself throughout the day to breath.
[su_note note_color=”#f6ff66″ radius=”0″]This is an interesting development in mindfulness, Muse, is a brain-sensing headband that’s will elevate your meditation and breathing experience. It gently guides you through changing sounds of weather based on the real-time state of your brain. I just love this, when your mind is calm and settled, you hear calm and settled winds. When your mind is active the winds will pick up and blow. How cool is that?! If you’re a techy type, be sure to check this out here![/su_note]
2. Awareness of Your Bodily Sensations
So often we live in our heads and we completely forget about our body, unless of course, we are in distress.
And here’s the problem:
We think that our mind is completely separate from our physical body.
But it’s not.
To become aware of your body send your breath to different parts and acknowledge those body parts.
- Notice the tingling in your fingers
- Release the stress in your stomach
- Become aware of the top of your head and the tension in your neck
Becoming aware of your body will bring you into the present moment. It will fine-tune your senses and quiet the mind.
…And living in the present moment is the secret sauce to a happy life…
A good place to practice tuning into your body is in the shower. Pay attention to the feeling of the water rolling over each part of your body, the sensations, and the temperature; bring yourself into complete physical awareness.
“Our true home is not in the past. Our true home is not in the future. Our true home is in the here and the now. Life is available only in the here and the now, and it is our true home.” Mindful Org.
3. Concentration and Focus
Concentration is really the foundation of a mindfulness practice, after all, you can only practice to the extent that your mind is calm.
Without concentration, your mind will be like a choppy sea in a storm.
Think of concentration like unwavering attention on one thing.
It is the amount of time we can stay focused before we notice our mind has wandered.
This is actually REALLY hard!
Here’s a good place to start:
Do one thing at a time, slowly and deliberately, bring purpose to your actions, become aware of your thoughts, actions and especially your breath.
If you are checking your email, just check your email, don’t bounce into Facebook at the same time. If you are eating dinner, just eat dinner, don’t check your phone and watch the news too.
Every time you notice your concentration has wandered, bring yourself back to the present moment.
This won’t happen overnight, but with practice, you will gain focus, the deeper your concentration the deeper you can enter into mindfulness and its intoxicating benefits.
4. Walking Meditation
We walk all the time… around the house, around the block, around the office….
Walking (something we do all the time) is the perfect opportunity to brush up our super duper mindfulness skills.
Mindful walking can bridge the gap between the everyday motions and tasks and the beauty of present moment awareness.
Whether it’s getting up from your desk and shimmying to the photocopier or going for an hour walk with your dog, here’s what to do:
- pay attention to the ground underneath your feet
- the shifting of your weight
- your pace
- maybe the cool breeze or the stale office air.
- Try to slow down, center yourself in the present moment and walk with confidence
We can enter into a walking meditation whenever we choose.
You can also practice walking meditation just by walking without an intention of going anywhere. Just back and forth.
Remind yourself to be in the moment taking each step as it comes, accepting each moment and paying attention.
[su_note note_color=”#f6ff66″ radius=”0″]You are here right now and you will get there.[/su_note]
5. Eating Meditation
So often we eat on autopilot, usually unaware that we are even eating at all.
But eating is directly tied to how we feel; therefore it is so important to tune in.
Mindful eating will, in fact, develop a love of natural foods and an ability to recognize your body’s nourishment needs.
It will help control emotional eating and bring you into the present moment.
- Practice eating slowly and deliberately
- Turn off all media and eat in silence
- chew each bite, thoughtfully and carefully
- Eat slowly, silently, mindfully.
Start practicing mindful eating with a piece of fruit for just ten minutes a day.
6. Realize You Are Not Your Thoughts and Emotions
A key to mindfulness is the understanding that your mind is experiencing many thoughts; we usually aren’t even aware that it’s happening.
When you understand that your mind chatters away you can gain control to not let every thought disrupt your inner peace.
This is where big benefits start happening.
You are NOT your feelings and you are NOT your thoughts.
When you say I am upset, do you really mean that you are the emotion? If we are our feelings or thoughts when they disappear, we should technically disappear too. But we don’t.
Thoughts, feelings and emotions fade away and we can also stop them from progressing by recognizing them and redesigning them to positive.
Your feelings and thoughts are like a weather system passing through, they will blow by. They are not you.
7. Get the proper rest
We need sleep to recharge our brains and bodies.
When we are tired, we can aimlessly jump from task to task without any real clarity.
We end up treading a tiring circle of never-ending tasks.
It’s an interconnected circle, the old chicken or the egg philosophizing. We need mindfulness to sleep and we need sleep to practice mindfulness.
Bad sleep habits cause our bodies to become worn. Like an engine without an oil change, we start to break down.
For tried and true sleep tips, see 11 Sleep Habits of Successful People.
Meditation will open a whole new world.
You need to slow down your mind.
Our mind does a lot of thinking, and we usually aren’t even aware that it’s happening. But these thoughts are powerful, and sometimes thoughts can spiral into stressful, negative thoughts and control us.
Meditation will give you powerful tools to be the watcher of your mind. By watching your mind, you can prevent urges and negative thoughts, and you can lead a stress-less life.
Start with just 2 minutes per day, sit either in traditional meditation or simply sit in silence and pay attention to your breath.
I personally love The Guided Meditation Site, the meditation guides here are simply soothing and absolutely amazing. I can’t say enough about this website. There are free and paid guides here so I’m sure you can find something to help you unwind. Visit here.
Our mind is usually very impatient and restless when we begin a mindfulness practice we are naturally developing patience every time we stop and practice.
Remember that everything comes in its own time like cooking an egg, if you try to rush it, the yolk will break and make a big mess.
Try looking at your own patience when anger arises.
Know that mindfulness is a practice that can take years to master and when you first begin and you find that your mind is bouncing from thought to thought, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Develop the patience to know that it will come in time, becoming impatient with a mindfulness meditation practice is only going to slow down your advancement.
Everything is connected to everything else. Without sunlight there is no life, without water there is no life, without trees there is no oxygen; it is a complex web of finely balanced interconnections.
It can be very dangerous to think that we exist separate from everything else; we can see the destructive effects of this thinking on our environment and in the animal kingdom.
Discover the thread of interconnectedness.
Everything is impermanent and in a constant state of change, this can help us appreciate our relationships, circumstances, and things.
We will likely appreciate life more because everything we come into contact with connects us to the whole world each moment and it’s only for a temporary moment.
It’s very interesting everything has a larger fullness and a mindfulness practice is the ongoing discovery of that thread of interconnectedness.
Every one of these steps needs to be infused with gratitude. Be thankful that you can breathe, eat, walk, concentrate, meditate, and contemplate.
It is mindfulness that will help you reconnect with yourself and become healthier in mind, body and spirit, now and in the future, and it all starts by changing one habit at a time.
If you don’t think these practices will change your life, then I dare all you nay-sayers to give it a try.
Mindfulness is a path and this is just the beginning. I’m excited to share in your journey.
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