Practicing Mindfulness in Your Everyday Life!
Bringing yourself back to the everlasting present moment to decrease stress and sadness.
You may have heard that mindfulness – the ability to be fully present in the moment – can have numerous benefits, everything from decreased stress and sadness to increased levels of focus and happiness, according to general mindfulness research.
But what exactly is mindfulness? And, how can one recognize it and reap its many benefits?
Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever you are doing in that very moment. That means you are completely free from distractions aka (your phone) or judgment, and aware of your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.
You can train in this moment-to-moment awareness through different meditation techniques practices which will then allow us to build the skill of mindfulness so that we can apply it to our everyday life.
In teaching the mind to stay focused on the eternal now, we are teaching ourselves to live more mindfully – in the present, taking each breath as it comes and not holding onto our reactive thoughts and feelings which is particularly helpful when faced with challenging times or difficult situations.
With the understanding that not everyone has the time or patience to meditate, we have come up with a very helpful practice that can help you to fall into the present moment through your five senses.
Where you are feeling fried, frazzled, scattered, worried or a little lost – your five senses can help bring you back to the everlasting present moment.
Take a deep breath this moment is yours. You are only here for a short moment. Don’t hurry. Enjoy your visit.
Take a moment to stop and see the wonder that is all around you. Stare up at the moon for a few moments to connect back to the eternal present moment. Look into the eyes of a loved one. When you find yourself waiting in line at some grocery store, take a moment to look all around you at life happening before you.
Sometimes all it takes to practice mindfulness is to take a moment to pause and see the wonder that is all around you.
Take a moment to stop and smell the roses. This simply means to take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy or appreciate the beauty of life. Breathe in the scent of fresh air as you walk into work. Take a moment to stop and notice the neighbor’s grill that is being prepared for a wonderful meal. If you find yourself sitting at home feeling distracted sometimes the easiest way to pull ourselves back to the present moment is to light one of your favorite candles. This will help you to surrender your chaos over to the everlasting present moment.
In such a fast-paced world it can seem hard to find time to enjoy what wonderful flavors are out there. When was the last time you just took a moment for yourself and that favorite Starbucks drink you are always craving? Rather than drink or eat your food quickly to get that burst of energy or fill your stomach up to get back to work relax and find the present moment when tasting your favorite beverage or dish. Remember to enjoy the rich kick of your coffee and notice the crunch of the cucumbers in your salad. The more you savor your food and drink the more you will savor your life.
Roll down your windows to enjoy the breeze of a warm summer day. Pet a dog or a cat. Feel the grass beneath your feet as you walk through your back yard shoeless. Feel the sunshine rest ever so warmly upon your skin. Take a moment for yourself to enjoy the day by putting on your favorite comfy clothes and wrap yourself up in a blanket and focus in on the warmth and peace that will to you in that very moment.
When was the last time you took a moment to step outside and listen to mother nature sing to you for free? I am sure it’s been a few moments. One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness so that you can decrease stress and sadness and increase your levels of focus and happiness is to step outside and enjoy the birds that are singing in the trees and the whispers of the wind passing through the branches of the tress. Take time to tune into the people buzzing past you on the street or even the song you haven’t listened to since childhood.
All these activities can help bring you back into this very moment where happiness and peace can be found.