What is Mindfulness?
You hear a lot about mindfulness these days. The simplest definition is that mindfulness is paying attention. Easy to define. Difficult to practice. You can use mindfulness in all areas of your life. Being mindful is the daily practice of becoming aware of yourself. Maybe that’s why it’s difficult: because we pay attention to ourselves last. Mindfulness includes paying attention to what your needs, what you eat, how much water you drink, how you listen, how you don’t listen, and how present you are in your life.
Mindfulness is one of the first steps in learning take better care of yourself.
A Simple Way to Start
If you have been thinking about mindfulness, here is one mindfulness practice you can start today. Just take a few minutes from your day and just be with yourself. Just check in with yourself and notice how you feel and how your body feels, without judgement. Practice this kind of presence of mind and body without self-criticism or put downs. Just be. With time, you will start to feel a stronger connection to yourself.
Here is a simple way to start a daily mindful meditation. Try it for 5 minutes for the next 5 days. After a week, go for 7 minutes. Build up to 10 minutes a day or whatever feels good and relaxing to you.
- Find a comfortable place. It can be a comfortable chair, your bed, the floor, a bench outside or on your porch. Just find a place where you will have quiet and be undisturbed for 5 minutes. Sitting on a chair with your back in a relaxed but upright position is recommended, but for your first few times, you can be on your bed if that makes you feel more relaxed.
- Take a 2-3 deep breaths and notice your body. Notice how it feels against the chair or how your back feels against the bed. Notice other parts of your body. Relax your hands. Think of your feet, and take a breath and relax them. Let go of the tension in your legs and your arms.
- Notice your surroundings. What do you hear? Pay attention to what you hear for a few seconds and keep breathing in a relaxed way.
- Now pay attention to your breath. Just breathe in and out naturally and notice how it feels. Does your chest move or does your abdomen move up and down when you breathe? Just notice and keep breathing.
- Just be in your body, noticing your breath and being aware of what sensations you feel. You may notice that thoughts come in, like you have to wash your clothes today or you need an onion from the grocery store. When thoughts come in just say to yourself, “Thinking, thinking, thinking.” Don’t fight the thoughts but just let them go through you as you breathe out.
- Do this for 5 minutes, just being aware and mindful of your breath and your body. When you are ready, open your eyes and thank yourself for taking this important step towards practicing mindfulness.
- Do this practice daily and let it be a healthy habit. You will see that you feel more relaxed and present in your life and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
Mindfulness can be a pathway to better health and at De Las Mías we are all about THAT!
Do you already have a mindfulness practice? Share it here with your friends and comadres…