mind·ful·ness | \ ˈmīn(d)-fəl-nəs \
Definition of mindfulness
1: the quality or state of being mindful
2: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis also: such a state of awareness
Life can be stressful and busy leading us to become feeling overwhelmed and anxious. We run on autopilot, thinking only about the past and future, what we should have done, what we must do, not focusing on what we are doing in the present moment. Being mindful means being focused on what you are doing in the here and now. The past and future brain chatter is quiet and there is nothing but the present moment. Mindfulness means paying attention and noticing, being completely engaged in what activity you are currently doing. If you are actively involved in what you are doing, your mind cannot wander. When you are fully engaged in the here and now, you are being mindful.
Mindfulness is easy to practice! Simply focus on and appreciate right here, right now!
When you are brushing your teeth, focus on the taste and smell of the toothpaste, the feel of the brush in your mouth. Appreciate how your mouth feels when you are finished.
When you are walking outside, listen to the sounds of the traffic, birds. Appreciate how the sun feels on your face, or how the cold air feels on your skin. What do you smell?
As you eat, focus on the smell of your food. Appreciate the flavours and textures.
When washing the dishes, smell the soap, how does the water feel?
Even waiting in line at the grocery store! Look around – what can you see? Hear? Smell? Pick up the items in your cart -how do they feel? Notice their weight, texture and smell.
When lying in bed, focus on your breathing. Appreciate the softness of your mattress and pillow.
When petting your dog/cat, how soft is their fur? Can you feel their warmth? Their breathing? How do you feel as you pet them?
When you can appreciate in the present moment and bring your focus only to the here and now, there is no room for stressful and overwhelming thoughts. Negativity and anxiety are reduced leading to a happier and more peaceful you!
“When you make the present moment the focal point of your life instead of past and future, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it, the quality of your life – increases dramatically” – Eckhart Toll.
Give it a try and notice the changes in how you feel about your life!
Written by: Tanya Chisling (firstname.lastname@example.org)