Mindful Practices to Transform your Life
Performing mindful practices and the concept of mindfulness has risen in popularity. Lockdown has been a key factor in this increase, as people had time to start new hobbies. However, whilst some chose creative hobbies, others chose mindful practices. People found that they wanted to use the extra time in their daily lives to connect with themself on a deeper level. If you are new to the term mindfulness and what mindful practices are, then this article is here to guide you and tell you everything you need to know.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that enables us to be fully present in the moment. As a result, we are more aware of what we are doing and where we are at that moment. Furthermore, it allows us not to get overwhelmed by everything going on around us and to stay focused on ourselves.
Whilst mindfulness is something that we can home into whenever we feel like it, it is easier to do so when mindful practices occur on a daily/regular basis. You may have been performing mindful practices and been unaware of them. But these are great foundations to build on so that this habit becomes more known to you.
What is Meditation?
The first important point about meditation is that it is not a fixed destination. It is all about exploring and the journeys your mind takes you on during this process. So, before starting your meditation journey, you need to remove any expectations. If you expect it to clear your mind, it will not work for you, as you will fixate on the end goal and not the process.
Meditation focuses on exploring your mind and connecting with all of your senses. This could be from smells you like and dislike to random thoughts about things that you find weird. A big part of meditation is allowing your sense of curiosity to roam free and to let it take whatever course it chooses.
How to Start Meditation and Mindful Practices
As stated above, mindfulness is available to us at every moment, either through meditation or mindful practices. A small example of this is when your phone rings; instead of rushing to answer it, you stop and take a moment to breathe beforehand.
How to Meditate:
Lucky for you, it is a lot simpler than you might think. So, let's get into how you give it a go.
- Take a seat - find somewhere of comfort to you, making you feel calm. It is also beneficial if this location is quiet to help aid the process.
- Set a Timer - if you are new to this, give yourself five minutes. This is something that you can build on each week.
- Connect with your body - make sure you are in a stable position that you can stay in for at least five minutes. If sitting, feel your back against the chair and your feet planted on the floor. Focus on where you currently are.
- Focus on your Breath - feel your lungs taking the air in and out and how your body fills up.
- Notice where your mind wanders - it is ok for your mind to walk but pay attention to where it wanders. Once you have done that, return your mind to your breathing.
- Be kind to your wandering mind - do not judge where your mind wanders to or where you go when you get lost in thought. This is all a process and things to work through.
- End with kindness - once finished, lift your head and open your eyes. Take in the world around you and notice how your body is feeling at that moment.
And that is it! You focus your attention, your mind may wander, but you bring it back to focus calmly and kindly. Of course, you will be required to practice, but these mindful practices benefit our lives and value our emotions.
Can I Get it Wrong?
A general question that people ask is can I get mindful practices wrong, and the answer to that is no. We know it may feel this way when you take time out and your mind is racing with thoughts, but that does not mean you are doing it wrong. As we mentioned above, this is part of the whole mindful process. Most importantly, if you do it right then then you feel lost in thought and then can bring it back to your focus.
Are Mindful Practices that Easy?
In short, yes, they are. However, as humans, it is not uncommon that we overcomplicate things to make them seem harder than they are. It is as simple as taking five minutes to tune into your mind in times like this. But then, turning this into a habit allows you to improve this technique, which makes it easier for you over time. As well as this, it also increases the benefits. As you learn how to listen to your body and mind better, you become more self-aware, and it is easier to know what your mind needs.
What Should I Do Now?
Give yourself a target to attempt mindful practices for five minutes, maybe two days this week. Set yourself a gentle reminder so it does not feel like a chore. Once you find yourself ready and, in the mood to perform mindful practices, make sure you are comfortable and follow our guide above.
Start small so that these habits can transform into the start of a healthy life for yourself. But, as we have said, you cannot get it wrong, and it is a process that takes time. So, give it a go; it might surprise you what taking five minutes out of your day can achieve.
What are 3 mindful practices?
Listen mindfully to another person, stop doing anything else, breathe naturally, and listen to what is said.
What are some mindful activities?
Walking meditation. Walking meditation is what it sounds like: a form of meditation you practice while walking. This can be in a straight line or circle. Other activities include:
What are the 4 mindfulness techniques?
Try the acronym STOP:
- S – Stop what you are doing. Put things down for a minute.
- T – Take a breath
- O – Observe. Notice your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
- P – Proceed with something that will support your needs at that moment.