Mindfulness is an amazing open state of mind when your attention is fully present in the moment and you are experiencing everything without assessment or judgement. You might have heard this term before and have probably read it somewhere alongside yoga and meditation, and we guarantee that you’ve already experienced it one way or another – just for a few seconds or minutes while you were staring at a breathtaking sunset, thinking of nothing other than the beauty in front of your eyes. Mindfulness helps you keep calm and understand your emotions better. It also reduces stress levels and makes you a happier person in general. The benefits are endless! Here are 7 in-the-moment techniques to be mindful every day.
Pay attention to your breath
Breathing is life. It is the most natural process that happens in our bodies 24/7, yet we rarely pay attention to it. One of the easiest ways to become mindful and aware of the present moment is to bring your full attention to the process of inhaling and exhaling. In yoga there’s a term called ‘prana’ which means ‘life force that fills your lungs’. It exists for a reason because we can live long enough without food and water, but without breathing we can only last mere minutes. Being aware of this process will help you reach a meditative state that calms both your body and mind.
Not many people have mastered the art of listening. Yet this is an incredible way to become more aware of the present and the experience of talking to another person. How many times have you been engaged in a conversation, thinking mostly about what you’ll say next, not what the other person is saying and feeling right now? Step aside for a little bit when you’re talking to someone, don’t rush, give them space if they want to express themselves, and listen with your full attention. You’ll be able to connect to a person on a deeper level and understand him or her better than ever.
We spend an awful amount of energy on talking. Not only do we talk, we also think a lot in the process, which leaves almost no space for awareness. Try practicing silence for as long as you want – a few minutes, hours or even days – and you’ll see how relaxed you will feel afterwards. Once your thought process calms down your consciousness will expand and you will feel and experience the surrounding world on a different level. You can combine this practice with long walks in the nature for a stunningly relaxing effect.
Notice your body sensations
Just like breathing transfers our attention into the present moment, other sensations and bodily functions can do that as well. Close your eyes and smell your morning cup of coffee while sitting in a comfy kitchen chair or simply enjoy the aroma of flowers and fresh air while you’re walking in the park. Sounds can also help you become more mindful. It doesn’t matter whether you’re out in the street filled with sounds of a busy city life or somewhere calm, you can always pay attention to the sounds surrounding you. Music works just as well!
Focus your attention
Concentration lies not only in the heart of meditation, but mindfulness as well. You’ll be amazed how many times you’ve already experienced it without realizing what it was. Whether you’re sitting at a concert fully focused on the music or looking at the sun slowly rising in the sky, this type of focused attention makes you fully immersed in the experience you are living through right now.
When you learn to focus your attention on the experiences you have, it’ll be really easy to fall into a meditative state. When you meditate you focus on simply being, without the thoughts about past, future, and present. Even when you sit to meditate just for a few minutes, you’ll be surprised to find out that your thought process, as well as your mind as a whole, resembles a bee hive filled with constant buzzing. It’s the same for most people! But as time goes by and after some practice that bee hive becomes calm, silent even. That state of calm and relaxedness transfers into your daily life as well, making your more mindful of everything that’s going on. As far as techniques go, they are numerous and you can try a few to find what suits you best.
It’s hard to be mindful when your body is tense and your mind is preoccupied with all kinds of problems and issues. You need to reduce your stress level and relax using whatever works for you best. Do exercises or yoga to get the tension out of your body. Bring peace to your mind by doing meditation, listening to pleasant music, engaging in healthy lifestyle with enough sleep, and by spending time out in the nature. Being mindful is not about using a few tricks, it’s about taking care of your mind, body, soul, and life in general.