Mindfulness. You see quotes about it on Pinterest and Instagram all of the time, it has practically monopolized the self-help section of your local bookstore. But, somehow what it is and how to do it hasn’t become any clearer. The best part about mindfulness is that it really isn’t much of a mystery at all. This definition from Mindful Magazine does a great job at summing it up (and why wouldn’t they? It’s their namesake after all): “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” It sounds simple enough, but putting it to be practice can be tough, hence the hundreds of books, podcasts, guided meditations surrounded around the subject.
In a perfect world, we’d practice mindfulness in every aspect of our lives. We’d be mindful with our work, with our food, with our romantic lives, with our relationships with others and most importantly our relationship with ourselves. But, it’s hard, and it
shows. Americans are generally more stressedout now than they’ve been in a long while, which leads to a host of other health issues – mental health disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and unfotuntately, suicide in some cases, to name a few. While we’re not 100% mindful all of the time, we’ve found that being able to successfully practice it in one sector of our lives makes it way easier to implement in others – and boy oh boy does it help you better able to manage stress.
Another great thing about mindfulness? You literally already know how to do it. Unlike other self-help techniques that encourage you to dramatically shift your entire worldview, mindfulness is all about zeroing in on your body’s natural ability to slow down, feel and soothe itself. We already have it within us to be mindful, it’s just putting it into practice that we need help with.
Here’s a couple of ways you can:
Tune-Out – Because you can’t be completely aware and in tune with yourself if there are distractions nearby. So, before you start haphazardly meditating, make sure your phone is off and in another room, your laptop shut tightly, and work folders put away nicely.
Breathe – Unless you’re a seasoned yogi, you probably haven’t fully mastered breathing. The kind where you close your eyes, and concentrate on your breath – inhaling and exhaling with measure and (you guessed it) mindfulness.
Guided Meditation – We can’t seem to recommend guided meditation enough for those who want to ease meditation and mindfulness into their everyday routines. We love the Headspace application for this and this practice from Mindful.
We hope you’re breathing a sigh of relief now that you know that mindfulness really isn’t as complex as you thought. Let go of that first spurt of stress and relish in the fact that you already had mindfulness within you all along. We hope you’ll put it into practice, and if you have a mindfulness method that works well for you – let us know. Cheers!