Tips for Being Mindful
One way of describing mindfulness is ‘paying attention on purpose to the present moment, in a particular way and without judgement.’
Mindfulness has taken off in a big way in the West over the past few years. Doctors and health professionals are recommending and being trained in it, and it’s the best thing since sliced bread all of a sudden to be in the present moment. Just a little ahead of me hearing about it was Eckhart Tolle’s epic book ‘The Power of Now,’ which taught us the same principle. In this article I’ll show you some tips for being mindful.
So what’s so good about being in the present moment, particularly if we are not feeling great about it? Well every person has on average something like 60,000 thoughts per day. Quite often we work on auto-pilot. This means that while we are driving, cooking, bathing or even having a conversation we are not too stimulated by, our mind is elsewhere. We might be thinking about the past or the future, but often we are pulled away from what is the present moment. And we are missing out on so much in doing so.
If you think about it many of those 60,000 thoughts are repetitive. The mind doesn’t keep creating brand new ones each time. So going over and over the same thoughts about the future or the past may not be our best use of the mind.
At first when you try mindfulness it may feel challenging, but I believe it depends on what you try and what you expect. Notice just now, the thoughts you are having about mindfulness. Have you got any judgements or expectations about it? This is the beginning, becoming the watcher of your experience. Being the watcher is a little like taking a step back. Instead of being caught up in your emotions you can say ‘I notice I feel a little anxious just now,’ and then explore how you know that. Where do you feel it in your body and what are your thoughts saying?
Quick Starts to Trying Mindfulness
- Be aware of your breathing. Notice the way the in-breath becomes the out-breath and so on. Notice the feeling in your body as you inhale, and exhale.
- Notice all of the sounds you can hear right now. Even silence has a type of sound.
- Watch your thoughts without judging or getting hooked into them. Develop a curiosity to see where one finishes and another one comes along.
- Pay attention to what you are doing, be it cleaning windows, putting items into your trolley at the supermarket or working on the computer. Bring your awareness right into the experience.
- Practice noticing the judging thoughts you have in a day, such as ‘I’m no good at this,’ or ‘they are so annoying.’ Allow yourself to notice the judgement and practise releasing it.
- Be aware of your body. How do your clothes feel? If you are sitting notice the points of the body that are supported by the chair. How is your posture?
EFT for mindfulness
There are lots of resources to learn more about Mindfulness, I like Padraig O’Morain‘s book ‘Mindfulness on the Go.’