Today, many people talk interchangeably about mindfulness or meditation. Yet when you have never practised mindfulness before, knowing where to start can be puzzling.
When I started looking deeper into different mindfulness, I thought I would discover people telling me about meditation, but I was wrong. I discovered many ways to begin practising mindfulness, which I could include in my daily routine.
What is mindfulness?
Simply put, mindfulness is being present and aware of where and what we are doing. It is not reacting, becoming stressed or overwhelmed by our surroundings or our own thoughts. Mindfulness is about being in the present wholeheartedly.
“With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.”Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness is observing your thoughts, emotions and sensations as they come and go in the environment where you are at that current moment.
Observing thoughts makes us aware of our reactions to ourselves and the world around us. We also become aware of how we speak to ourselves and others.
By being aware of our emotions, we can develop the ability to deal with difficult emotions.
Knowing and understanding our sensations helps us understand how we react in different scenarios. Observing our sensations helps us understand our moods, fears, ourselves and our body.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”Eckhart Tolle
Myth 1 – time. Mindfulness doesn’t have to take long. There is a misconception that mindfulness requires lots of time or you need to just sit in silence. Mindfulness does not take lots of time, for there are many ways to do something mindfully. As practising mindfulness is the art of being mindful and present in the action, you are currently doing.
Practising mindfulness can be as simple as being fully present in a conversation you are having with someone, being mindful as you clean your teeth or do the dishes.
I started practising mindfulness first by observing my actions in conversations and interactions with the people around me. I quickly realised I wasn’t reacting as I wanted to in some environments and decided to observe my thoughts more.
Myth 2 – silence. Mindfulness is sitting in silence. Mindfulness is often spoken about interchangeably with meditation. Neither mindfulness nor meditation is about sitting in silence. Meditation is focusing on an object, quite often the breath. Whereas mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment and purposely observing it.
Every day is filled with many moments in which it is possible to integrate mindfulness into our lives.
I commenced mindful walking by integrating a slow awareness walk at the end of my power walks. Now, I go mindfully walking more often. I find it a great way to transition between different activities or destress from the day.
24 Easy ways to begin practising mindfulness.
Getting started with practising mindfulness is amazingly easy, as it can be included easily into your daily routine. These 24 mindful habits are a great way to begin practising mindfulness.
Wake up early. I started waking up early every day after reading ‘The Morning Miracle‘ and implementing the personal growth strategies recommended in the book.
Related post: Positive Ways To Start The Day.
Breathe Deeply. Deep breathing is so easy to do at any time or day. See the 30 second video in this post on how to breathe deeply.
Set a daily intention. Setting a daily intention is something I do every day by asking myself this one question. The question helps me to focus and be productive on my goals.
Visualize your ideal day. To visualize your ideal day find a quiet spot and think about a future day you would like to have in maybe in 3-5 years time. Picture in your mind the ideal day. Sometimes when you visualize your ideal day you can see things you can be doing today that are part of your future ideal day. The 10 questions in this article on why visualizing your ideal day is good for your future may assist you with imagining your ideal day.
Live purposefully. We all live our lives differently. I like to include aspects of my ideal day into my daily routine. The action may be only small, or it may be a mindful walk on the beach. Whatever action I choose to include in my day, I wholeheartedly enjoy.
Express meaningful appreciation. Every day, there is something to be grateful for. Every day, there are people to appreciate. Saying thank you to those who assist you or write what you are grateful for in a journal. When you really are appreciative and express it, you make the people around you happier as well as yourself.
Related post: 21 Daily things we take for granted that we shouldn’t.
Solely focus on your goal. Decide which goal you would like to focus on and give your full attention. When you have long term goals, it can take time to reach them. Giving your goals a little time each day or a few days a week helps you achieve them. If you are looking for more inspiring goals, here are 100 life goals.
Write in a journal. In a journal, if you have one or on a piece of paper, write your thoughts or what you are grateful for today. Journaling takes some practice. When you get used to just writing first thing in the morning, it can be healing. Waking up and expressing what you are grateful for today also helps you start positively. Some day, you may not know what to write about. Here are some journal prompts to help you journal.
Mindful walking. I love how peaceful and relaxing mindful walking is. When I first started mindful walking, I would be present with my thoughts as I walked. However, with time, I learned to be present with the sounds, smells, and views of the environment I was in. When I’m out walking, I always find time to include a mindful walk.
The present moment of mindfulness
Mindfulness bingo has many activities for you to focus on and give your full attention to. The activities are easy activities, covering the first stage of mindfulness which is being aware. As you do the activities, aim to be fully present in the activity by giving it your full attention.
For many years, I had heard people say they mediated or sat in silence. Curious, I decided to try meditation. At first, when I practised sitting in silence, my mind would wander. I’d think about how silly it felt or even am I wasting time. Over time I learnt that I could push a thought away and sit in silence.
Many people swear that meditation makes them more productive. Personally, I need to listen to a guided meditation and focus on the activity I plan to do to be productive.
The true art of mindfulness goes deeper into awareness. Mindfulness is being aware of thoughts, feelings, your body, and your surroundings. Mindfulness is not focussing on wants or desires; it is allowing yourself to become the observer, not judging as there is no right or wrong.
Living in the present moment and accepting things as they are is all part of mindfulness.
As you engage in mindful methods tune into the activities you do and your senses. Observe how you feel. With each activity, aim to stay in the present, not the future or the past.
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”Mother Teresa
Trying different mindful habits is a great way to start practising mindfulness. Playing mindfulness bingo gives you the opportunity to experience different mindfulness techniques. Over 24 days try each one and on the 25th day do your favourite mindful habit again.
Download the pdf so you can begin practising mindfulness with mindfulness bingo.