We hear the word “mindfulness” all the time these days. For some people it’s a daily practice, and for others it’s on the to-do list.
Here are a few beginner’s tips to remember when it comes to mindfulness:
- Start small. Sometimes all it takes to be mindful is to direct your attention from something big towards something small. The next time you’re consuming information, whether it be from a screen, or a tv, or anything else that feeds information to the mind, close your eyes and direct your attention to just 1 breath. Notice the difference between being aware of “outside” and then being aware of “inside”.
- Take baby steps. You don’t have to meditate for an hour every day to be mindful. You can simply take 1 minute (put a timer on if you need), and put anything of distraction out of sight. These are usually items like your phone or computer. And just sit, without the need to do anything. You can stare at the wall, even. But just allow yourself a space to sit in silence, with nothing calling your immediate attention. Doing this and just noticing how that feels – no matter if your mind is busy or still – is being mindful.
- Use your body to help keep you focused. When practicing mindfulness and meditation, it can be mind-boggling when the mind becomes aware of the mind. Meaning, you may surprise yourself with how busy your thoughts are. To help stay focused on the present moment, use your body as your guide. Notice the movement of your breath. The sound of your heartbeat. The texture of your clothes. The feeling of gravity. The temperature of the air. The smells in the room. The list goes on and on. When you notice these things, you’ll start to be completely aware of your own presence. And in that space, thoughts settle, the body finds ease, and you become mindful.