How mindfulness increases life quality

Habitomic
Habitomic
Habitomic Journalist
Habitomic
Habitomic
Habitomic Journalist

 Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.

Yet no matter how far we drift away, mindfulness is right there to snap us back to where we are and what we’re doing and feeling. If you want to know what mindfulness is, it’s best to try it for a while. Since it’s hard to nail down in words, you will find slight variations in the meaning in books, websites, audio, and video.

When we meditate, it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it.

When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our minds, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.

Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.

There are some facts about mindfulness that is necessary for all to know.

  • Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic.

It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.

  • Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do.

We already can be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are.

  • You don’t need to change.

Mindfulness recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.

  • Anyone can do it.

Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn.

  • It’s a way of living.

Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress.

To start having mindfulness, you don’t need to buy anything. You can practice anywhere, there’s no need to go out and buy a special cushion or bench.

There’s no way to quiet your mind. That’s not the goal here. There’s no bliss state or otherworldly communion. All you’re trying to do is pay attention to the present moment, without judgment.

Your mind will wander. As you practice paying attention to what’s going on in your body and mind at the present moment, you’ll find that many thoughts arise. Your mind might drift to something that happened yesterday, meander to your to-do list—your mind will try to be anywhere but where you are. But the wandering mind isn’t something to fear, it’s part of human nature and it provides the magic moment for the essential piece of mindfulness practice.

How to practice mindfulness

While mindfulness might seem simple, it’s not necessarily all that easy. The real work is to make time every day to just keep doing it. Here’s a short practice to get you started:

1. Take a seat.

Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.

2. Set a time limit.

If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as 5 or 10 minutes.

3. Notice your body.

You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, in lotus posture, you can kneel—all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position, you can stay in for a while.

4. Feel your breath.

Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes out and as it goes in.

5. Notice when your mind has wandered.

Inevitably, your attention will leave the sensations of the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing this—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath.

6. Be kind to your wandering mind.

Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back.

Note: Be careful not to try too hard. Don’t try to make anything happen, or to achieve any special states or any special effects! Simply relax and pay as much attention as you can to just what is here now. Whatever form that takes.

Our reactions to the stressful events of our lives can become so habituated that they occur essentially out of our awareness, until, because of physical, emotional, or psychological dysfunction, we cannot ignore them any longer. These reactions can include tensing the body, experiencing painful emotional states, even panic and depression, and being prisoners of habits of thinking and self-talk including obsessional list making, and intense, even toxic self-criticism.

All we have to do is to establish attention in the present moment and to allow ourselves to be with what is here.

So, we can practice mindfulness and become more present.

Make the effort! Whenever you think of it in your day or night, remember that you can be more mindful. See for yourself what it might be like to pay more careful attention and to allow yourself to experience directly what is here, especially including what is here in your own body, heart, and mind.

There are three simple ways you can add more mindfulness to your daily life:

When starting a new activity (beginning a meeting with 2 minutes of silence and attention on the breath, or taking a few mindful breaths before entering a patient’s room, or a focus on the breath before starting your exercise routine, are some possibilities).

In the middle of an ongoing situation or process (bringing attention to the breath, or to the sensations arising while washing dishes, eating a meal, walking the dog, doing a job, etc.)

Or when you are just waiting, in between the things on the schedule (gently bringing attention to the breath or the sounds or the sensations or the sights or even the thoughts while at a red light, in a line at the bus stop or grocery, or waiting for someone else to arrive).

In these situations, use the sensation of the breath as the “anchor” for awareness in the present moment. Establish mindfulness on the narrow focus of just the breath sensation. Allow yourself to feel the breath as it goes in, and goes out and the pause between in and out. Do not try to control your breath. Simply let it come and go. Bring as much attention, as completely and continuously as you can to the direct sensation of the breath.

After a while, if you wish, when you have established awareness of the breath sensation, you could widen the focus to include all body sensations along with the breath sensation. Again, not trying to change anything at all. Simply allow yourself to feel, and be aware of the changing sensations in the body.

After a while, again if you wish, you can further widen the focus to include all that is present. This means whatever you are hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, or even thinking. Just practice being with these different experiences as they unfold. Allowing yourself to feel your life at this moment. Resting in mindfulness, the open-hearted choiceless awareness of what is here in this moment.

You can practice mindfulness in this way throughout the day and night. Practice for a few breaths at a time, even for a few mindful moments. Also, you can use the Habitomic app to help you add mindfulness to your habits.

In conclusion, mindfulness is a natural quality that we all have. It’s available to us in every moment if we take the time to appreciate it. When we practice mindfulness, we’re practicing the art of creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions. So, start practicing it.

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