Mindfulness doesn't require you to be a Buddhist monk. Instead, it's a practice that cultivates present moment awareness with a compassionate mind. Simply put, it's exercising your mind through the practice of being aware and bringing calm to your state of mind while living in the present moment. And over time, this practice builds your resilience to stress, improves mental and physical health, and improves your quality of life.
It's a quality that we all possess; it's just a matter of accessing and practicing it.
The basics of mindfulness practice
Mindfulness is a tool that helps us slow down, take a breath, and respond thoughtfully rather than out of habit. Here are four simple ways to be more mindful throughout your day:
Set aside some time. You don’t need any special equipment or a “special” place to do it. It simply involves setting aside specific time for you to sit in quiet and experience your body and mind as they are in the here and now.
Focus on the moment: It's not about eliminating feelings or attempting to stay in a constant state of calm. Although it's easier said than done, the idea is to focus on the present moment without judgment simply.
Let your judgments roll by. Sometimes when we practice mindfulness, we become aware of how judgmental we are. We notice the judgments arise in our minds and make an effort to let them go.
Be kind to your wandering mind. Instead of judging your wandering mind, try to recognize the state. When you notice your mind drifts off, gently bring it back.
Types of mindfulness practices
There are several different forms of mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness-based interventions. These include:
Body scan meditation
In today's fast-paced world, living in the moment can be challenging. And since mindfulness isn't one-size-fits-all -- you can choose the form that works best for you. Spending time in nature, listening to your favorite songs, or doing some simple housework can be a meditation in itself if you let it!