Learn how Mindfulness Meditation can improve the quality of your health and wellness.
What is Mindfulness?
First, mindfulness is a psychological quality of increased awareness and attentiveness. When we are mindful, we bring our complete attention to the present.
The state of mindfulness enables the real you to show up. Instead of running on autopilot. When we show up and fully engage in what we are doing, we find meaning in simple things. So, paying attention and showing up in our lives makes it more meaningful.
People love it when we show up and give them our full attention. Thinking and acting with a conscious purpose makes life more enjoyable. Mindfulness is the opposite of living on autopilot. When we do this we miss the meaning and opportunities to learn important life lessons.
What Are Awareness Practices?
These are methods that prove to help us engage the natural ability of our minds to experience peace and silence. They are positive and stress-reducing methods that anyone from any background can use. They are not the practice of religion.
Consciousness connects our minds to our bodies. And our awareness is the quality of our consciousness. The more awake we are, the more we experience. The methods of awareness practice are ways to enrich, heal, and amplify our consciousness.
Mindfulness Awareness Practices
These are practices that enable us to enter a sacred space of silence and peace. Learning to quiet the mind is an asset. Practices like this are restful and energizing. Some people describe it as if witnessing yourself from a different perspective/time. It is a frame of mind that grounds and centers our awareness. Thus, you are but more present and better able to handle stress. And we can think more clearly. All methods of awareness practice have excellent health benefits.
- Reducing muscle tension
- Manage day-to-day stress
- Reducing the number and severity of headaches
- Make better decisions
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Be more efficient
- Make us present
- Enjoy life
- More attentive in relationships
Mindfulness isn’t so difficult we just need to remember to do it. ― Sharon Salzberg
Three Mindfulness Awareness Practices
- Daily mindfulness awareness practice. This is a method you use with your regular daily routine. It’s a way to keep you present.
- Seated mindfulness meditation. This is a practice you use while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. You can do this for any length of time from 30 seconds to 20 minutes. It is a good stress-reducing technique. A good method to use when brainstorming or trying to solve complex problems.
- Moving mindfulness awareness practice.
You’ll find each of the above processes is a natural progression. They work together to bring us into a state of restful alertness. This helps us in our hectic lives by reducing stress. When we are calm, we think more clearly. So, we make better decisions. It helps us to recognize the enjoyable moments of life we would otherwise miss when we live on autopilot.
Daily Mindfulness Awareness Practice
To enter this unique quality of awareness, there are three basic things you can do. Always remember to be gentle with yourself. Throughout the day remind yourself:
- Observe your body and breathe in the present moment. Don’t stop what you are doing. Instead, allow your awareness to include both the activity and your presence.
- Learn to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
- Practice listening with your full attention. Focus on what the person is saying instead of thinking about what you will say in response.
- Pause a moment to think before speaking or acting, review the words you want to say to make sure they will communicate what you want. Ask permission if you need a moment.
Get the Most Out of Your Daily Awareness Practice
- Get the most out of your smartphone. Use it to remind yourself to take mental breaks.
- Use “sticky” notes as a constant reminder. Place them on your computer, in your car. Put them wherever you spend a lot of time.
Your heart can answer life’s hardest questions. Turn off the TV. Turn off your phone. Sit & close your eyes. Meditate & listen. ― Guru Tua
Seated Mindfulness Meditation
We struggle with meditation because our mind is constantly bombarding us with thoughts. This simple seated technique can help you get a mental break. Use it for quick mental refreshers throughout the day. Many people use this technique when they are first learning to meditate.
- Sit comfortably upright, but not strained. The head floating above the shoulders. Hands resting in the lap.
- Close the eyes
- Bring your awareness to your posture and breath (if observing your breath is frustrating then just observe your posture)
- When your mind interrupts, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breath
- Thoughts will come, let them go, Return to observing the posture and breath
- Don’t force it. Don’t judge yourself.
- Let external distractions go by. When they occur, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breathing. External noises and interruptions are common.
Moving Mindfulness Awareness Practices
Moving mindfulness takes the silence and peace from the seated practice and puts it into motion. One of the most beneficial forms of outdoor meditation is Forest Bathing. That’s because it helps us reconnect with nature and benefit from its healing power. However, you can use this process anywhere. The Shamanic Journey is probably the earliest form of moving meditation. Indigenous cultures around the world practice this form.
Tips for Mindfulness Awareness Practices
- Use your smartphone to set a reminder. This will help you remember to use these techniques.
- Don’t meditate with your eyes closed when you are driving a vehicle! However, if you are in a traffic jam and can’t move, that would be okay.
- If you really “need” a break from driving, pull over and stop the vehicle. You can use daily awareness practice while driving. But don’t use the mindfulness meditation practice where you close your eyes.
- Write your experience after you use these techniques. Your intuition speaks when we silence our minds. Use a spiritual journal to record your thoughts. Otherwise, we miss our incremental growth and opportunities for positive change.
- Use these processes along with the Japanese Wellness technique “Forest Bathing”. It also works well with the Tree Grounding exercise.
Mindfulness awareness practices are a good way to enhance the quality of our lives. They have a positive effect on our perception. Mindfulness meditation is key to reducing stress, helping think more clearly, and deal with the stress of the modern world.
Likewise, if you are not ready for this level of awareness practice, there’s a simple two-step beginning meditation method. Just follow the link.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia