It goes without saying that most of us want to experience a meaningful life, but how do we get the most out of our life experiences? Our minds have evolved to problem solve. Our cultural tendency is to focus on what’s wrong and what we need to fix. Often we are preoccupied with ruminating on the past or busy worrying about the future. We seem to be everywhere but in the here and now. What does this cost us?
When we are able to bring our attention to the present moment in an intentional way, we are open to our experience here and now. This is mindfulness. Mindfulness is not meditation. It is simply bringing your open-minded, focused attention to whatever you are experiencing in this moment. We can practice being mindful anytime and anywhere. By practicing bringing our attention to the present moment our awareness improves. As our self-awareness increases, we are better able to change or modify our actions and behaviors in a more productive way. As our awareness of others increases we are able to engage in better relationship behaviors. We’re able to focus on what’s important and meaningful. This allows us to be more expansive in our own personal experience and our experiences with others. And out of this expansive awareness grows kindness.
Ways to practice Mindfulness:
Focus on your breathing
Bring your attention to the quality of your breath. Breathe in for a count of three and out for a count of three. Repeat for 30 breath cycles. When your mind starts to wander bring your attention back to your breath.
Eat with intention
Slow down, savor and enjoy your food.
Bring your full attention to simple tasks and chores such as cleaning or washing the dishes. Don’t judge the task as good or bad just experience it for what it is without assigning it a label.
Practice listening to others. Try to do this without relating what you are hearing to yourself and your own experiences. Try listening without thinking about what you will say next. Try to relate to the other persons experience fully without it being about you.
Take breaks and slow down.
Try to avoid doing too many things at once. When you slow down and hit pause you are better able to be in the moment.
Notice what your mind is saying
Are you fixated on the past? Are you worrying about the future? Try not to put energy into controlling or changing what your mind is telling you just let it be and let it go. Come back to the present moment.
Move with intention
Be fully present with your body and movement.
Take regular tech detoxes
Turn off or leave your phone at home. Give yourself a break from tech & electronic stimulus and overload to hit the reset button.
Take a moment each day to reflect on what you appreciate and what is going well in life.