On my last birthday, my best friend and sister Rita bought me several things among them a nice emerald green book titled “The Little Book of Mindfulness”. She told me that since I started reading “The Power of Now” (another book that she recommended), I should be on my way to mindfulness.
At first glance, I thought M I N D F U L N E S S. Humm… being fully in the mind… and I didn’t give it a lot of thought. Then each night before I sleep, I would read several quotes from this mindfulness book until I understood what mindfulness is and I started reading more about it and try to live it. To be honest, it was very hard for me to be mindful since I am all over the place in my thinking and I am always multi-tasking. Yet, I am working on myself and each day is progress for me.
So let’s start by defining mindfulness, Google defines mindfulness as
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Okay, so we all agree that mindfulness is living the moment. Good, now how do we do that?!
1.Mindful Breathing: when you wake up in the morning, take a minute to mindfully breath. Focus on your breathing, see how you inhale and exhale, feel the blood run through your veins with every breath. You can use the breathing dance where you inhale for three seconds, hold your breath for three seconds, then exhale for three seconds. Similar to Salsa, no?! Do this breathing routine morning and evening and anytime in the middle. It will help reduce stress and will make you feel good.
2.Mindful Food and Drink: As you drink your tea in the morning (I am encouraging caffeine-free tea at this moment in my life), take a second to smell the tea, then feel the mug you are holding in your hand, is it warm? Soft? How does it feel? Then as you take your first sip, focus on the temperature of the drink, its taste, as you swallow it, imagine its journey to your stomach, how it passes through your throat, down to your stomach. Then remember that you are alive and healthy.
3. Mindful Nature walk: whenever possible, get out of the city and its horrible bricks and go to nature. Have a simple walk in nature where you can exercise your breathing and inhale healthy Oxygen, where you can let your eyes wonder around the greenery. Look at the trees or plants around you, smell them, how do they smell? Touch them, how do they feel? Try to feel any energy flowing through your body as you touch them. Touch the soil, feel its moisture, remember that it gives life. If you can walk barefoot (without hurting yourself), then feel the soil or sand below your feet. Then as you are walking, feel your muscles stretch and relax, feel the blood pumping and savor every second.
4. Mindful Chores: People aren’t always very fond of house chores, at least that what I feel. As you are doing these chores, try to focus on each activity at a time. If you are washing dishes, feel the water on your hands, feel the soap, the texture of the items. If you are folding clothes, try to feel each item’s texture, as you touch it, touch it mindfully, don’t think of anything else rather than the task at hand. This will help you live the moment, become more mindful and it will make the chores less haunting.
5. Mindful Journaling: At the end of every day, before you try your mindful breathing exercise, start writing mindful journaling. Take at least 5 minutes and just write whatever comes to your mind. Then write several things that you are grateful for. This way, you can sleep on a happy note and will learn to appreciate all the small and big things in your life.
Here you have it, five simple techniques that will help you start a mindful journey of living the moment.
What are some other techniques that you do and that helps you achieve mindfulness?