Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment as it is, without judgement.
My goal is to live life in full and one way of achieving this is by paying attention to what’s already there.
Mindfulness is about participating in the act of being alive and being fully engaged in the moment.
I write about mindfulness often, in fact, this whole website is based on the theme of being mindful.
Mindfulness is a way to improve the quality of your life without making any significant outward changes. I have to give credit to the guest lecturer who said those words during the final year of my undergrad. I just wish I could thank them personally because that sentence alone inspired me to view life differently. My entire perspective shifted, and I owe it to that lecturer because they introduced me to a new way of living.
Being mindful is a proactive approach to life, you get more from your day by noticing what is happening.
Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive – Thich Nhat HanhIt
That quote summarises what being mindful means to me, it’s about attending to the subtleties of life, the things we can often find ourselves taking for granted. You can maximise your day-to-day existence by observing your experience.
It’ll be useful to direct you to two of my posts on mindfulness (hover over the title and it’ll take you straight there):
Being present to life has had such a positive impact on my wellbeing and I think it could have a great effect on yours too! I appreciate paying attention may be a bit more difficult for some more than others. With that said, one of the first things someone new to mindfulness could do, is focus in on their senses.
If it’s right for you, we can give being mindful a go.
I’d like you to concentrate on your senses by doing the following:
- Name 5 things you can smell
- Name 4 things you can feel.
- Name 3 things you can hear
- Name 2 things you can smell.
- Name 1 thing you can taste.
This can be thought of as a grounding technique which helps you to pay attention or return to the present moment. You could use this in when you feel stressed and overwhelmed as it can help you focus and calm down. Other similar strategies could be picking out all the things in your environment that are of the same particular colour e.g., the blue sky, the blue car, the blue bus etc.
I hope you found that mini exercise useful. And you don’t have to do all senses, I often use touch (soles of my feet) and sound (typically, the birds chirping, the wind and cars driving past) to begin my meditation practices in the morning as those senses help me feel anchored in the here and now.
And let’s not forget about the breath! I’ve touched on it as a useful tool to help with being mindful, you can find that post here:
The premise of mindfulness is being present, paying attention, accepting the situation as it is and without judgement.
To be mindful, is to be in tune with life. 🙂