Keeping Mindfulness Simple to Try Right Now
By Sandy Schroeder
Mindfulness has become a very common term in today’s world, but understanding and using the practice can be confusing.
Forbes and success.com attempt to cut through all of the words to come up with some simple steps to make mindfulness meditation useful on a daily basis. They suggest mindfulness can improve our concentration on the job, ease our sense of pain, and make us more resilient. It may allow us to settle down emotionally, to see things more clearly, to move ahead with life.
“Being able to observe how your mind is spinning, instead of quickly reacting in an upset way, can certainly help us evolve,” says California psychologist Dr. Shoshana Bennett.
Be Clear about What Mindfulness Is
In mindfulness you become a non-judgmental observer. You can hear your breath, or remember an incident without trying to change it. When we manage to do that we gradually see things more clearly. Our minds begin to settle down, helping us function better. The chaos of our daily lives slows and begins to make more sense.
Start Right Now
If you want to practice mindfulness, just start now wherever you are. You can sit, stand, walk or eat as you are practicing. You could begin with an easy breathing exercising, using it every day to be mindful. Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale). If work is becoming a challenge, you can use your breath whenever you need to refocus and ease up.
Look at Your Daily World
Becoming mindful can start with a daily observation of your breath, your surroundings, or your daily practices such as brushing your hair or sipping morning coffee. Pick one or two things and focus on them every day.
Let Go of What Should Happen
Often we want things fixed immediately, but that is not how mindfulness works. Mindfulness asks you to let go of your expectations and just be in the moment. Really feel the present the way it is without trying to change it. Over time this will feel normal. Give mindfulness some space.
Don’t Try Too Hard
The idea is to retrain us to simply observe life without doing anything about it. We can see our thoughts, feelings and sensations and not judge them. Don’t struggle. Just let it happen.
I do a simple form of this most mornings on my patio. I can hear the birds chirping in the bushes as I sit quietly and watch my thoughts and impressions move past unjudged. Later, I often feel calmer, less anxious, and clearer about what I want to do.
If mindfulness appeals to you, read about it or look for a class. Or just take the simple steps outlined here to try it.
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