Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and sensations. It’s also known as Vipassanā.
Mindfulness is being in the moment.
There are many approaches to Mindfulness meditation and increasing overall focus and awareness of your surroundings. Here are two simple approaches that will help you get started. I talk much more about Mindfulness Meditation and several other techniques in Meditation: Benefits and Techniques for Beginners.
- Meditate in a quiet space
- It’s good to do this for at least 15 minutes per session. Sit up straight but not stiff. Find a fixed point in the room and make this your focal point. Next, focus on your breathing. Isolate the sensation of your lungs filling with air. Feel every muscle in your body stretch as you fill your lungs with air. Feel them relax as you exhale.
- After you’ve gotten into the rythem of breathing, maintain focus of whats in front of you.
- If your attention drifts, do not stress out or become upset! Do not fight it either! Drifting is allowed and apart of the process. This helps you discover what is on your mind. After your attention drifts, gently focus your attention back to your breath.
- At first, your thoughts will be varied and seem like constant interruptions. Don’t be discouraged because this is normal. In fact, to achieve mindfulness, you will need to practice to counter your minds habitual urge to jump from thought to thought. In time, you will learn to truly be in the moment.
- Meditate throughout the day in places where there are distractions
- Precisely the same as above, except instead of finding a quiet space to meditate, you meditate pretty much wherever your are. Places like work, a public park, or even on the bus. This is naturally more difficult because there are more distractions. However, some prefer this. If your busy and don’t have time to meditate it’s another fantastic strategy.
Take some time and spend it in the moment. Exercise your mind. Take time to process your emotions, thoughts, and sensations. Observe the world around you with every breath. 🙂