There are a million ways to approach the subject of mindfulness. Especially since the term is almost too trendy, & has morphed over centuries & continents to encompass many things.
But as we always do, let's simplify, so you can benefit from the amazing results of mindulness techniques, in all the varied forms & different names, practiced by those who know the rewards to both health & happiness.
Let's break it down into 2 areas we can explore: 1.) The many synonyms for mindfulness. One of them is bound to attract you & pique your curiosity. 2.) Easy ways to develop mindfulness, so you can connect with one that you can integrate daily to begin reaping rewards.
From the current definition: "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. 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."
So, our synonyms as we seek to extract what will serve: conscious awareness, focus, living in the moment, acknowledgment of the senses-thoughts, feelings, breathing, seeing, hearing the surroundings,etc...
The best way to approach the concept? Think of it as freeze-framing the moment. As if the director yelled "cut"! Since you're the movie-maker, it just means stop letting your life run away with you, & take 20 minutes or so to concentrate on everything at that moment. It helps to light candles or burn essential oils. Or to put yourself somewhere in nature where concentration & appreciation will be easier. But the technique, no matter how you apply it , is the same. Stop, focus, breathe, connect to your thoughts,feelings & senses,enjoy & appreciate every aspect of the experience.
It's a habit that takes a bit of time to develop, since our lives are often run away trains. But, if you cultivate mindfulness, you'll find everything about your every day lifestyle will tick up your health & happiness in ways that are amazing!
More oxygen & subsequent energy. More positive thoughts & feelings. Better blood pressure & heart rate. Clearer focus, & a fulfilling appreciation for what you have in life. All leading to a healthier-happier, calmer & more productive lifestyle. So needed, especially in these trying times.
We always chuckle when we start the one-page blog, because the topics cover whole books! Tune in on Thursday, when we'll expand a bit more in our PJ Wellness Show podcast. It's also part of Module 2, in our digital course, 28 Days To A Healthier You. Sign up here if you'd like to join us, we'd love it!
To our second point on the ways to explore developing mindfulness, let's list a few:
A.) Find your best quiet time. Are you more available, mentally & actually-in the early hours, or late at night? Finding a moment you can tap into every day is vital, & everyone is different. Find your best moment & get started.
B.) Start being mindful with something you'll notice immediately-like eating. Don't gulp, rush,or be oblivious. Take the time to focus on every aspect of your meal-time. From preparing, to setting the table, to actually dining, instead of just scarfing.You might think you don't have the time, but if you actually break it down, it doesn't take much longer, just a bit of concentration. The extra bonus? It's healthier & more enjoyable!
C.) Get moving & get grounded! Everyone needs their dose of nature. For better breathing. To get some Vitamin D. To get some exercise.To capture the moment & make you feel you've gotten away on a mini-vacation. The kind of awareness you'd give walking the streets in a foreign town. Tap into that mindfulness, & you'll reap calm, healthy, pleasurable feelings that will boost your immunity & your endorphins.
D.) Multi-tasking is a myth that frazzles people & actually makes them less productive & feeling depleted & unaccomplished. Get a bit more organized with your time. To-do lists, calendars & such can help. Then, concentrate solely on the one task at hand. You'll find you accomplish more in less time because you're mindfully focused on just what's on deck, not next. It builds calm & confidence!
E.) Find a way to "meditate". We've put it in quotes, because for some, the real thing is hard to do! It's ok to find your version of meditating. As long as it involves clearing your mind, slowing down & deeply inhaling & exhaling, & concentrating on relaxing your mind & body-you'll be good to go. Try creating a ritual-with candles, or a bath with essential oils, or just a quiet corner in your home where you can tap into your Zen!
F.) Find a creative project. It might be that seashell collage you've been meaning to glue. A Zoom karaoke or dance-a-thon you organize with your friends. Finding an online site to publish that collection of recipes you know are awesome. Or finally starting a home herb garden. It doesn't matter, as long as it's your creation!
Creative projects make you blissfully mindful. They give you enthusiasm, hope, dreams of what might happen, & an appreciation for the process. It's a terrific way to cultivate mindfulness.
Best, Patrick & Jo-Anna