Mindfulness is a state of awareness that involves intentionally paying attention to the present moment. It allows us to become a nonjudgmental observer of our thoughts and feelings and release them, rather than cling to them. Mindfulness can enhance our ability to cope with distress, improve our attention, and promote connection in our relationships.
Ways to Practice Mindfulness
· Become aware of your breath. Notice the sensations in your body as you breathe. Pay attention to the rising and falling of your chest. Observe the coolness of the air as you breathe in and the warmth of air as you breathe out. Observe five mindful breaths. There is no need to change your breathing in any way.
· Throughout the day, become aware of any points of tightness in your body. See if you can breathe into them and as you exhale, let go of excess tension. Is there tension stored anywhere in your body? Your neck, shoulders, stomach, jaw, or lower back? Breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension.
· Notice your body while you walk. Take a moment to notice your posture. Pay attention to the contact of the ground under your feet. Feel the air on your face, arms, and legs as you walk. Are you rushing?
· When eating something, take a minute and breathe. Focus only on your experience of the food. Bring awareness to seeing your food, smelling your food, tasting your food, chewing your food, and swallowing your food.
· Choose a natural object within your environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower, insect, clouds, or the moon. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at without judgment. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows. Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time. Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
Here’s a 10 minute mindfulness meditation session.