Practicing Mindfulness

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By Kelli Barnes | October 30, 2017

At times, we spend quite a bit of time thinking and reflecting on the future or the past. We might be wishing for a change in the future or regretting a previous decision. We may dwell on situations, wish that life were different in some way, or regret a past action.

According to Oxford Mindfulness Center, mindfulness is “moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience, without judgment.”

Mindfulness involves being fully aware of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. This includes paying close attention to the present moment, instead of focusing on the past or future.

To be mindful is to be fully present in each situation.

You can practice mindfulness by:

  • Focus on Breathing

Clear your mind and concentrate on your breathing. Pay attention to how it feels, listen to the sound that it makes, and watch your chest expand and contract. Let your thoughts regarding the rest of the world fade away. Try to do this for at least one minute.

  • Pay Attention to Your Routine

You can implement mindfulness by choosing a routine task and rerouting the way you think of it. Instead of letting your thought wonder, pay attention as you complete this activity. This could be a simple as a household chore like washing dishes. Notice how the water feels against your fingers and the sounds you hear. Refocusing your attention during these tasks may even make them more enjoyable.

  • Accept Your Feelings

Do you often judge your own thoughts? Part of practicing mindfulness is not judging if your thoughts are “right” or “wrong.” Instead of this judgment accept what you think and feel while remaining neutral.

Often times, we spend a great amount of time thinking about past or future events and carry out task in a routine and automatic fashion. However, instead of letting these thought become distraction, we can practice mindfulness and living in the present moment. Make an effort to slow down and observe your surroundings. Take the time to become more aware of your senses – what you feel, hear, smell and see.

There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness in your daily life. These benefits include less negative thinking and an improvement in mood. Additionally, mindfulness can help you be present in the moment. This will contribute to self-awareness and helps you be aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and their effect on those around you. You will be able to appreciate things as they happen in the present.

 

Sources:

Oxford Mindfulness Center 

Mayo Clinic 


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