What is mindfulness?
Many people think that mindfulness is sitting and thinking about nothing. To most of us, that sounds boring and hard. Good news! There is more to mindfulness than that.
Mindfulness is intentionally being aware of what is happening in the present moment. There are many different ways to practice it aside from traditional meditation.
Beginners often find guided meditations helpful. Some guided meditations help you pay attention to your breath or sensations in your body. Others may have you imagine a journey or scene in your mind. Sometimes guided meditations focus on a specific topic, like relieving stress or falling asleep. There are a plethora of free, guided meditations on YouTube.
Mindfulness can be as simple as observing an object in great detail. To try it, choose an object in the room right now. Ask yourself…
- What is the object?
- Is it big or small?
- What shape is it?
- What other shapes do you see on or in the object?
- Does it have a smell?
- What temperature do you think it is?
- What color is it? Be as specific as possible. If there is more than one color, notice each one.
- Is it translucent or opaque?
- What material(s) does it appear to be made of?
- Where does the light bounce off of it?
- Does it have a shadow?
- How many sides or surfaces does it have?
- If there are numbers or words on the object, what do they say?
- What is the texture of the object? Rough? Smooth? Bumpy?
- Is there any wear and tear or evidence of age? Or does it appear to be brand new?
- Is there dust on the object?
- What is the object sitting on?
Other common ways that people practice mindfulness include observing your breath, progressive muscle relaxations, yoga, paying close attention to daily activities like doing dishes, observing nature, and coloring. There are many more… too many to list them all!
Practicing mindfulness feels weird at first. There’s no need to judge yourself, whether your mind is still or busy does not matter.
How do you practice mindfulness? Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading.