What Does Practicing Mindfulness Mean?
What does practicing mindfulness really mean? Is it simply sitting still for a few moments, taking your time to feel the peace in your stomach, or silently slipping off your sneakers and bringing all your focus to how your feet feel on the bare floor? Or focused, alert meditating for up to 10 minutes, turning off your mind frequently and washing away all the clutter running around you…
Practicing mindfulness is about learning to quiet our minds and bring them under our complete control. There\’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. If we want to practice mindfulness properly, we have to realize that this is a mental exercise, not a religious one. So what does practicing mindfulness mean?
To answer this question, we have to go back to the basics: what does mindfulness meditation mean? Mindfulness meditation is the ability to quiet your mind, bring it under your control, and practice meditation. Sounds easy enough, but it\’s not. While it\’s possible to learn mindfulness meditation online or through other means, in my experience, it\’s best to learn from an experienced teacher who can explain the steps and benefits of this ancient art in simple everyday language.
\”What does practicing mindful thought mean?\” is the next question. A good teacher will introduce the concept of the self-managing, or mindfulness, verb, which means, \”to be mindful of yourself.\” The sentence implies that it\’s not just a matter of being aware of the words you\’re saying, but being aware of what you\’re doing as well.
So what does practicing mindfulness mean then? The first step is taking stock of yourself. This means being aware of all things that happen around you, both in the here and now and in your past and future. A good teacher will guide students through an introduction to mindfulness, which often involves sitting comfortably with your back straight and your eyes closed, and then observing your breathing patterns for 5 minutes.
The second step to what does practicing mindfulness means is to take stock of what you\’ve been saying in your conversations, your emails, your phone calls, and other moments. Take note of what you are saying and how you say it. Are you using tense, anxious body language? Do you tend to talk too much? Are you using all your muscles at once, and is this distractive?
The third step to what does practicing mindfulness means is to clear away the clutter of thought. Take a time out to be quiet, to clear your head of all the mundane matters of daily life. Then, as you come back to the here and now, write down what you were thinking about when the chaos rears its ugly head. Sometimes this can be as simple as listing what you were doing or what was on your mind while you attempted to meditate. Other times, it may mean writing down what you were thinking about ten seconds later, if you can remember it at all.
The fourth step to what does practicing mindfulness mean is to clear away the distractions of the day. There are times when we will be highly tempted to do something else, whether it\’s a new hobby, a shopping trip, or a phone call or two. If you can resist this temptation, then it\’s possible you\’ll still be fully conscious when the mindfulness meditation is over. Otherwise, you\’ll find yourself daydreaming, or even day dreaming while you\’re meditating.
The fifth step to what does practicing mindfulness means is to make use of the present. When you are mindful, you aren\’t dwelling on the past or the future. You\’re living in the moment, and this is the only moment you live in. The most useful tool you can use to clear away the past and future is to use words: if you have a specific thought, and you can feel it, say the word, and if you can hear it, say the word.
The sixth step to what does practicing mindfulness means is to practice everyday mindfulness as much as possible. Meditation doesn\’t need to be as complex as some people would like to make it out to be. In fact, you don\’t even have to do this on a daily basis, but doing it on a weekly basis is a great start. Practicing every day, in a gradual manner, will make the habit of awareness stronger. It also makes it easier to stay in the present moment: when you stop and think about something, the only thing you\’re thinking about is the experience of that object, event, or person at that very moment, so you tend to stay focused.
Lastly, when you stop for a break and focus on the experience of the moment – what does practicing mindfulness mean? You can use words: \”I am feeling happy,\” \”I am noticing how beautiful the colors are shining on the beach today,\” \”my breath is coming out smoothly from my body\” – these are statements you say while you are mindful. And you can use a visualization to help you stay in the present moment. A simple trick is to visualize a pleasant or calm place in your mind, and paying attention to it for several minutes, then letting go of that image and thinking of something else: you\’ll notice that your thoughts don\’t shift away from that place.