What is Mindfulness?
We hear a lot about Mindfulness and what exactly is meant by that term – Mindfulness – and what is the difference between Spirituality, Attitudinal Awareness and Mindfulness.
Spirituality is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul instead of material or physical things. Attitudinal Awareness is being aware of the attitudes toward life, yourself or others that run your life. Mindfulness is the art and practice of living and staying in the present moment.
You are mindful of the thoughts your brain takes in as you mindfully discard the thoughts you do not want to keep in your brain. As you discard the thoughts you do not want you replace them with positive thoughts of the life you want to create.
Mindfulness isn’t about pretending everything is perfect. No, not at all! It means you acknowledge the pain or any emotions surrounding the incident while taking actions to move through the painful moment.
You understand you have the courage and strength to move forward. A physical gesture, such as taking your hand and placing it over your heart while you think to yourself, “I can get through this, is sometimes helpful.
It is an interesting fact that many people will mindfulness exactly at the moment they need it the most. The more you practice mindfulness the more grateful, positive and loving your life becomes. You begin to show up for life because you are more appreciative. Fear, worry, regret, stress, and anxiety dissipate as they cannot exist in a mindful state of mind.
How to begin a Mindfulness Day:
- Mindfulness meditation – set aside a small amount of time. Begin for 5 or 10 minutes. Find a quiet space where you can be alone. Close your eyes and notice your breath. Breathe in 4 counts, pause, then breathe out 4 counts. The pause between your inhaling and exhaling is important because that is your “mindful moment” where you become clear.
- Walking Mindful Meditation – go outside. Spend the first few moments listening, smelling, touching nature. Feel the Earth beneath your feet. Walk 10 steps – turn around – walk back 10 steps. As you walked did you feel the ball of your foot going down? Did you notice the heel of your foot going forward? Did you breathe? Do your 10 steps again and this time notice your breath, your feet, your body.
- S.T.O.P. = during any day when you are anxious S = Stop to be mindful of what is going on. T = take a breath, O = observe your emotions and feel them P = proceed with your day.
- Be aware of the present moment – stay NOW! Keep away from getting lost in your head with worries, fear, anxiety or stress of any kind.
- Pair Mindfulness with a daily activity – this is a good way to begin a mindfulness practice. As you wake up be mindful of the gratitude’s you say and write. Or as you brush your teeth pay attention, be mindful of every stroke. Or as you make coffee or eat breakfast do so being mindful of every single thing you touch, smell, look at, handle or cook.
Staying in the Now moment or Mindful will help you get through any challenge you may face through your day. Remember, nothing lasts forever and any challenge you face will end. How you respond to your challenges will last far longer than the challenge itself.
Sincerely with Love,
Ask Mary Ellen
R.E.A.L. Health Mindfulness Education Center, Director