At first, mindfulness can seem like an intangible concept. However, practicing mindfulness is , quite simply, the act of concentrating on your breathing, being aware of your breath and being of what is going on around you in the present moment.
The more you do it, the more the simplicity of it becomes clear and the benefits manifold. It lightens the mind and spirit.
It’s kind of like when you started to tie your shoe laces after a while it becomes second nature and practicing mindfulness will become the same.
Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodelling the physical structure of your brain.
Basics of Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses.
Here are some ways you can tune mindfulness throughout the day:
Set aside some time.
You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space.
Observe the present moment as it is.
The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. Easier said than done, we know.
Let your judgments roll by.
When we notice judgments arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.
Return to observing the present moment as it is.
Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
Be kind to your wandering mind.
Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.
Mindful Practices for Every Day
As you spend time practicing mindfulness, you’ll probably find yourself feeling kinder, calmer, and more patient. These shifts in your experience are likely to generate changes in other parts of your life as well.
Mindfulness can help you become more playful, maximize your enjoyment of a long conversation with a friend over a cup of tea, then wind down for a relaxing night’s sleep