To fully achieve mindfulness, one must simply take a second to understand what is meant by the meaning of mindfulness. Mindfulness is commonly defined as eliminating all outside distractions so that one can become focused upon the present moment in time.
Mindfulness allows us to become aware of feelings both from the past and the future while compartmentalizing them and drawing attention to the present moment in time. Getting rid of the white noise in one’s life will better allow us to live in the present time without negative thoughts or confusion entering our psyche.
The good news is that achieving mindfulness doesn’t require a two-week silent trip into the middle of the wilderness. Nor does it require fancy pants or intense treatment from some health guru. All you need are seven simple steps to mindfulness.
- Be Proactive Rather than Reactive
- Let go of the Past
- Live in the Moment
- Use Breathing Techniques
- Close your Eyes
- Focus on the Task at Hand
The best part of achieving mindfulness is that it can be done at any place, at any time, in any type of setting no matter the situation currently being faced. Practice these steps and see the world change around you as your perspective becomes enhanced.
1. Be Proactive Rather than Reactive
What is the most common downfall for people that are seeking mindfulness? All too often people only seek to retreat to a state of mindfulness when times are difficult or challenging in their lives. Instead of waiting for a hazardous situation to arise, practice mindfulness techniques instead when times are content or even happy.
People commonly wait for an argument with their significant other, a draining day at the office, or a contentious drive home in traffic before attempting mindfulness. If you wait until your body is in a state of shock, panic, or discontent all bodily functions will be out of whack. The heart will be racing, blood pressure will be through the roof, and you will be unable to focus on any single task at hand.
Next time you have a few minutes take time to concentrate on what you are doing. It could even be something as simple as brushing your teeth or putting the groceries away. The mind drifts too easily and practicing these techniques in a variety of settings will make it easier when times are difficult.
2. Let go of the Past
Letting go of the past can be a difficult endeavor for many people. Maybe it was a past relationship where something went wrong and you could’ve changed the outcome. Perhaps you wish you had pursued a different type of career or never took that chance skydiving over the Himalayan Mountains. The truth is that the past is the past.
Over analyzing situations and replaying memories in your head over and over again will cause endless amounts of worrying and stress preventing you from being in the present. Tell yourself the past does not define your future.
3. Live in the Moment
In the social media age of today, it is easy to get caught up in posting a picture of your latest meal or a vacation with friends. At the next meal, leave the phone on the table. Close your eyes and concentrate on the savory taste of the avocado toast covered in sundried tomatoes and flax seeds. Grab your buddy by the arm and give them a big hug and focus on catching up on old times.
In the end, it won’t matter how many pictures you posted on Instagram or how many likes you received. The only thing that will matter is the experiences you shared and the people that were in the life around you. Live your life and don’t live your life for other people.
4. Use Breathing Techniques
When stressful situations or chaotic events occur, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and think that life is ending as we know it. The truth is that the body only reacts to signals given to it by the mind. The mind leads, and the body follows.
Each day take a moment to close your eyes and start to breathe in and breathe out slowly. Focus on nothing else around you except the breath that follows. Don’t worry about what’s for dinner or what’s on television that night. The only thing that matters in this singular moment is the next breathe leaving the body.
As each breath is focused on more and more the outside world seems to slowly dissipate one single step at a time.
5. Close your Eyes
Sometimes the simplest way to alleviate outside distractions from the world around you is to simply close your eyes. Eliminating the sight of the outside world allows internal consciousness to occur. This remedies much of the outside world as the answers you seek lie solely within the body internally.
6. Focus on the Task at Hand
People are creatures of habit. They get so lost in the mundane nuances of everyday life that they become numb to the world around them. We commute the same way to work every day, make the same meal for dinner, and watch the same shows. This endless cycle can cause one to live life as an observer rather than a participant.
No matter what you may be doing, take control of your body and your mind. Listen to every word of every song. Always think of the task that is at hand in front of you.
Once upon a time, the art of meditation was reserved for a select group of people segregated to complete isolation from the rest of society. Today, people all over the world are can practice mindfulness meditation. The process is simple and should remain uncomplicated.
Take a seat in a comfortable spot in your home with little distraction. Sit with your legs crossed and a straightened posture. Use the other tips mentioned before including: closing the eyes, controlling the breath, and prevent the mind from wandering.
Start with shorter 5-10 minute increments before gradually advancing up to an hour of time. You should notice significant changes in your happiness levels and a decreased rate of stress.
By implementing all of the aforementioned techniques in your daily lives, you will begin to realize the manner in which you view life will change significantly for the better. Stressed levels will be decreased and a casual sense of happiness should subdue any negative thoughts that were creeping into your psyche. Let the good energy flow in and the negative vibes subside.