Do you often find yourself unable to focus on important matters at hand because your mind keeps wandering off to something that happened in the past or something that might happen in the future? These obsessive thoughts can be very distracting since they refuse to go away even when you want them to, and can also be stress related if you’re thinking about work or upcoming tasks you need to do.
If you are struggling with this, you might want to practice mindfulness. What is that, you ask? Mindfulness can help you focus on essential matters and disconnect yourself from concerns about other things. Keep reading the following article to learn more about what mindfulness is and how you can practice it.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of our surroundings, where we are, and what we are doing. Mindfulness allows us not to be overactive and overwhelmed and prevented us from getting distracted and judgmental. Through mindfulness, we can be aware of our feelings without being caught up and too invested in them. What is interesting about Mindfulness is that every human already possesses it and can access it through forms of meditation. It helps us focus on the present and reduces thought loops about the past or future, therefore reducing stress.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is relatively easy to practice since there is no linear way to practice it. Depending on your preference, you can practice this by sitting, walking, and even lying down. Thus, this practice can easily be incorporated into everyday life by merging meditation and other activities like yoga or other forms of sports.
It is considered mindfulness as long as you can step back from being distracted and focus on something.
How Mindfulness Meditation Works
Since mindfulness is a state of mind that reminds us to be present for the things that truly matter, mindfulness meditation helps us conjure up what it takes to access it.
However, do not have the misconception that mindfulness aims at eliminating stress and anxiety or other forms of problems. Instead, what mindfulness does is that it makes you aware of your thoughts and emotion, even if they are unpleasant, and allows you to think of ways you can handle your challenges. It teaches you to be calm and empathetic and makes you reflect on the negative emotions you have and thoughtfully respond to them.
Although this might sound very complicated, the thing with mindfulness meditation is that since everyone has the suppressed ability to do it, with proper and habitual training, people can do it without even thinking twice.
Benefits of Being Mindful
Through mindfulness, you can unlock a side of you that you never realized you had. It mainly focuses on cultivating seven attitudes of people: non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trusting, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go.
Now, let’s focus on the main benefits that come with practicing mindfulness.
Helps Us to Be More Focused
We often find ourselves in stressful situations that are so nerve-wracking that we start functioning on autopilot. Due to this, we usually steer away from the things we are supposed to focus on and spiral down into an abyss of obsessive thinking that does not allow us to think straight.
Through mindfulness meditation, we can tune into our inner selves that bring out our awareness by focusing on our breathing and thinking and sensing things happening within and around us. We can attune ourselves and our current state through this method, further improving our focus elsewhere.
It Allows Us To Learn To Focus On The Small Things
Since breathing techniques are such a big part of mindfulness meditation, it allows us to focus on something small, eventually leading to bigger things. During this sort of meditation, the breathing technique is that you are supposed to take deep breaths in and inflate your chest and then allow your belly to push it out.
It causes benefits your physical health by expanding your lungs, but it also forces you to be aware of yourself. Although breathing might seem like something too small and insignificant to focus on, you will be surprised how many people can not do that. The goal is to empty your mind and not let it wander off.
With practice, once you can focus on your breathing entirely, you will be able to focus on other things better without getting distracted easily.
It Allows Us To Expand Our Awareness Outwards
Mindfulness meditation focuses on the small things that might seem insignificant at first, but then it branches out to bigger things. So, with this form of meditation, you can become aware of yourself and let it spread out to your surroundings.
Through this, you can notice all the things happening to you and around you and attune yourselves to your inner selves.
Steps to Practice Mindfulness?
There are quite a few ways you can practice mindfulness through meditation, but the simplest method for a beginner would be to start by sitting down. For this, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and find yourself a comfortable area to sit in.
1. Take a Seat
The first step you need to take to sit for meditation is to sit down. Find a comfortable space and stabilize yourself. It does not matter where you are sitting. As long as you know no one is around to disturb you, you are good to go.
2. Notice Every Detail About Yourself
What are your hands and feet doing? What are you thinking of? Are you humming a song? Are you having thoughts or feelings? You can guide your mind to focus on relaxing muscles from the top of your head down to your toes.
Take notice of all these seemingly small things. They might seem insignificant, but these are steps you need to take to become aware of yourself genuinely.
3. Maintain A Straight Posture
Make sure your feet are touching the ground, and your upper body is straight. Do not curve your spine and keep your head and shoulders straight. Allow all of your body to fall into its natural state without stiffening yourself up or shriveling yourself down.
4. Keep Your Upper Arms Parallel To Your Upper Body
Make sure that your upper arms are at your sides and on top of your legs. Keep them relaxed so that they fall naturally into the right spot, as keeping them too forward will result in you hunching forward, and keeping them far back will make you stiffen up.
5. Keep Your Eyelids Lowered
You do not have to close your eyes completely, but keep them lowered so that other distractions do not bother you. Focus on the images that come to you and notice the relationship of your inner self to those images.
6. Continue for a While
Sit still in this position and reflect on yourself for a little bit. Pay attention to everything that is happening and every sensation you feel. Keep a calm and steady breath with long inhales and exhales, considering either a 4-4-4 or 5-7-8 breathing pattern.
Once you have continued to do so for as long as you need, you can either repeat all of this or try it out another day.
Mindfulness is a practice that might sound unnecessary to you at first. However, it is helpful to a lot of people. So, if you want to be more self-aware and have a better focus on things, try it out today! You can also consider helping your body recover and become more resilient with additional supplements such as Tok Wellness, which uses researched adaptogens to help the body recover.