Start Learning Mindfulness With These 6 Steps
To live mindfully is the true art of living in the present moment, fully and completely. It is not about how you were in the past, or your fears and anticipations of the future. Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment and savoring everything in a way that you begin to enjoy whatever you are doing in that moment.
It is one thing to be mindful when you’re driving - that can be hard, because you have to focus on multiple aspects of the traffic, the direction that you are going and the actual process itself of driving. It is quite different though to be mindful while you cook, clean or simply take a walk in the park.
You can begin being mindful by joining a mindfulness meditation group. Then again, mediation is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people may be too active or fidgety and can’t really sit through mediation, and that’s ok. Even having some meditative minutes during your day can make the difference for you. Here are 6 steps to learn mindfulness which you can add to your everyday routine:
1. Doing one thing at a time
Start being more engaged with everything that you do. If you are watering your plants, then start looking at how the water flows out and hungrily gets absorbed into the soil. While eating, just eat – don’t check your phone or work on your computer.
2. Doing things deliberately and purposefully
There are many times when we go from point A to point B without even realizing what happened along the way or how you got there. Don’t rush into things, or rush whatever you are doing -do it mindfully, not mindlessly. Next time you are on the road, watch how the wind sways the leaves on the trees, feel the wind. It may take some time for you to get used to living this way, but do this at least a few times throughout your day to start.
3. Less is more
Speaking of rushing things, don’t fit a ton of tasks within the same hour. Refer to #1 and that doing your tasks slowly will enable you to concentrate completely on the task at hand –therefore, you will be more productive. Remember - a stitch in time, saves nine!? Take breaks between tasks to give yourself time to recuperate from the intense pressure your body may have underwent in the previous task.
4. Focus ‘on the now’
Worrying about the future is not going to add another day to your life; nor is wallowing about the past. Focus on the present. What are you doing right now? How are you feeling? Are there any aches in your body? What is happening around you? Is it warm or cold? If you catch your mind drifting off thinking about anything but the present moment gently bring yourself back.
5. Listen actively
Have you ever been in a conversation where you feel the person is listening to you, only waiting for their turn to respond, instead of actually listening to what you were saying? Be really present for your friends, listen to what they are saying, ask them questions – how did you feel? How are you going to deal with it? Etc. Respond by saying ‘oh that must be hard’ or ‘ you must’ve enjoyed that!’ Being active in a conversation can really uplift someone and you will enjoy your time spent with them as well.
6. Savor our life
Next time you sit down for a meal, let the aromas hit you; eat with your eyes first, taste very morsel and identify the flavors. Eat slowly and purposefully. Cooking at home or even cleaning can be a form of meditation, when you are just concentrating on the task at hand, instead of planning your week, rehearsing a conversation or planning a party in your head. While washing the dishes, feel the water trickle down your hands, feel the cold, feel the heat. Tune into your life and savor every moment of it.
About the author:
Nicole Stansley is a content manager for Homework Desk, a professional homework help online. She writes about productivity, personal development and gives tips for succeeding in college as well as in real life after graduation.