Over the past few years I’ve been journeying into the world of mindfulness, so with this post I wanted to share a brief introduction to what mindfulness means to me. I’ve also included a video where I demonstrate a simple mindful breathing technique, which I would totally recommend watching if you are interested in knowing more about mindfulness.
In my own words, I would define mindfulness as being consciously aware of my thoughts, emotions, and body sensations that arise in a given moment of time. Let me try to break that definition down by giving you two examples.
First let’s start with when I’m having a stressful day. Mindfulness helps me then to observe the thoughts I’m feeling about being stressed (usually racing thoughts in my mind), allows me to feel the body sensations that come up (tight shoulders, shallow breathing), and also helps me to observe and notice the emotions that come up while I’m feeling stressed (worry, fear). Mindfulness in that moment helps me to check in with my inner self and become consciously aware of my present situation.
So, as you noticed above, I’m not trying to control what sensations come up or avoid issues or emotions that occur. Instead I am trying to fully aware of the moment I am in. That’s what mindfulness is all about. Becoming aware of what is happening between my body and mind helps me to be more in control of my life and the choices that I make.
Mindfulness can also be practiced when you are having a really wonderful day. When I’m having a really fabulous day, I try to take some time to sit there and be consciously present in that moment of time. Mindfulness helps me to observe the thoughts about this positive moment (thoughts of gratitude or appreciation), allows me to feel the body sensations that come up (smile on face, deeper breathing), and also slows me to observe the emotions that I’m feeling in this positive moment (happiness, joy). In this way, I can become very connected to that positive feeling I am going through, and be able to fully be present and experience it.
If we don’t connect to the moments we are feeling in our lives, we can easily let our lives just pass us by. Trust me, I’m a long way from being fully present in my moment 100% of the time, but as my life progresses I take little steps to be more consciously aware of the moments I am in. That’s why mindfulness has become so important to me over the past couple of years; mindfulness has truly helped me connect to myself and be totally present in whatever stage of life I am in.