Mindfulness: What is it and how to practice it?

Mindfulness is often a buzzword, especially when the world around is busy and chaotic. From improving mental and physical fitness to attaining overall wellbeing, there are numerous benefits associated with it. But, before we begin to discuss many other aspects of mindfulness, it becomes very important to first understand what mindfulness means.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness may be understood as a process of focusing your entire attention on the present moment and being aware of what we are and what we are doing and accepting it without any judgment.

The concept of mindfulness has it’s origin in Buddhism, however it is included in most religions in the form of prayers or meditation. Through prayers and meditation techniques, one becomes aware of ourselves, our surroundings and helps us understand the importance of acceptance.

There are various ways through which mindfulness can be achieved. Meditation, sensory method, observation method, etc. are some of the common techniques that help in attaining the state of mindfulness.

How to practice?

Mastering mindfulness can be difficult in the beginning and hence, we have compiled a list of simple activities that can at least help you begin practicing the art of mindfulness.

Focus on your breathing:

The best method to practice mindfulness is to focus your entire attention on breathing. Well, that doesn’t mean that you need to focus your attention on breathing throughout the entire day. Since, you are trying to practice mindfulness, begin with a few minutes in the beginning. Sit down in a comfortable position in a well-ventilated place and start breathing deeply. While you breathe it’s important to focus your entire attention on your breathing. Of course, it could be difficult in the beginning, but that’s okay. All you need to do is to get going. You might get distracted in the first few days, but that’s where you will need determination and dedication.

Be attentive:

Well, this can’t be that difficult to practice. All you need to do is be attentive to everything that you are doing at that moment. For instance, when you are eating something, feel the taste and texture of the food. While listening to music, give close attention to every instrument that is being used. etc. This technique can be used in every activity that you perform in your life. From eating to walking, from listening to music to pursuing any of your hobbies. The technique here is to be attentive in every activity you undertake.

Connect with nature:

Albert Einstein once said, “look deep into nature and you’ll understand everything better. Connecting with nature has numerous benefits. It shifts your focus from problems, worries, doubt, fear, and guilt. This not only relaxes your mind and improves your concentration and focus. One of the best ways to start connecting with nature is to pursue the hobby of gardening. You don’t need to invest a huge amount and time when I say gardening. Just start with the 4 to 5 plantations for your balcony and connect with them.

Go for a walk:

Walking can be fun and easy especially for those who find it extremely difficult to sit and meditate. However, if you are willing to choose walking as a method to practice mindfulness, you must ensure that you are focusing on every single step. The objective here is to give your focus and attention to every single step and to ensure that every step that you take in your walk is enjoyable.

Be Grateful:

Being thankful for everything you have right now shouldn’t be a difficult thing for you. If you are currently hopeless and ungrateful, this is where you need to begin right now. If you aren’t able to find reasons to be thankful, it means that you aren’t aware of the power of gratitude. Sit down in a quiet place and say thanks for everything that you are today. If you are still finding it difficult to find a reason to be thankful for, just be thankful for your eyes, that is emphasizing the importance, need and power of gratitude.

And do remember, practicing the art of mindfulness will require your dedication, commitment especially when you feel like quitting. But that’s where you need to be strong. Always, get going.

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