The popularity of Mindfulness in the West is growing at a breakneck pace. Mindfulness or Mindfulness is called secular meditation. Mindfulness is a fusion of Eastern meditative practices with the latest scientific research on the workings of the human brain. The Mindfulness technique was first scientifically substantiated by American medical doctor John Kabat-Zinn. He separated traditional Oriental meditation from Buddhism, religiosity, rituals and esotericism, leaving only rational and pragmatic practice.
This is a meditation for rationally minded people, based on scientific knowledge. Millions of people all over the world are engaged in this meditation. For the last 2-3 years, world stars have regularly written about it in Instagram. Now the wave of enthusiasm for Mindfulness has reached Russia. In this article, I will tell you in detail what mindfallness is and how to practice this meditation.
What is mindfulness
Google translator translates the word mindfulness into Russian as "mindfulness." Simply put, mindindhness in Russian is the practice of mindfulness.
Awareness. This is a pretty simple word. It means a state of consciousness when a person’s attention is fully present in what he is doing and where he is. This seems like a very primitive fact, but when you watch yourself, you will see how often the attention moves away from the present moment in thoughts about the future or the past. Very often, in the process of daily activities, we lose touch with our body, physically being in one place, and mind in another.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, it is holding attention where you are and on the actions you are doing at the moment. Mindfulness is a powerful antidote to the restless nature of the mind and information overload in the modern digital world.
Regular practice of mindfulness brings calm and efficiency to everyday life, reduces stress and improves mental ability. Mindfulness is usually practiced as sitting meditation, but mindfulness can also be practiced in ordinary life, while walking, eating, traveling or working. Mindfulness is theoretically very simple, but it is quite difficult to practice the discipline of mindfulness when you become the master, not the slave of the impulses of your brain.
There I show you the fastest and safest way from scratch to learn how to meditate and transfer a state of awareness to everyday life.
Mindfulness Technique: 5 Steps
- Tune in for breath. If you have already practiced meditation, this step may seem like an annoying cliche. But there is a scientific rationale for this advice. Breathing is not only an accurate indicator of the state of the soul, but also a powerful way to control the state of mind. During a busy day, set aside a few minutes to realize your breath. For three breaths, be aware of how air enters and leaves the body. Then slow the exhale to trigger a relaxation reaction. Lengthening the breath sends a signal to the brain to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and rest.
- Use the surrounding space to disconnect from anxiety and stress. Take a few minutes a day to switch from business to internal sensations. Listen to the sounds around, feel the position of the body in space, pay attention to the temperature and odors. Switching attention to the sensations of just a few minutes, you give your mind a little rest from stressful thinking.
- Include awareness while working with modern technology. Sit all day at the computer? Watch your posture and breath. When we unconsciously hold our breath while checking the mail, we create stress for the body. Irregular respiration oxidizes the body, creating an excess of carbon dioxide. This acidity contributes to the development of stressful diseases. Watch your breathing and body while working on the computer so that the body gets enough oxygen.
- Simplify your business schedule. Learn time management to simplify your to-do list and set priorities correctly. To do this, you can use the well-known method of tomato. The Tomato Method is a time management technique proposed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique involves splitting tasks into 25-minute periods, called “tomatoes,” followed by short breaks.
- Make eating a mindfulness mindfulness practice. Instead of having dinner at the computer or buried in the phone, use this time to practice Mindfulness. Pay attention to how you eat, deliberately aware of the taste, as if you were tasting the dish for the first time. Chew your food thoroughly and consciously. This will give the mind a chance to take a break from information overload during the working day.
How Mindfulness will change life
Just a few minutes of mindfulness mindfulness meditation can make you happier. The mind is like a muscle. Just as we train to maintain the body healthy and strong, we can practice mindfulness to keep the mind healthy.
Mindfulness helps not only the practitioner himself, but also the people around him.
Every time you fly on planes, you hear one important life lesson. Before you can help your children and do something for them, you must provide yourself with an oxygen mask. The happiness of children primarily depends on the happiness of the parents. Practice conscious life, so that your children take an example from you and do not lose the sense of well-being given by nature to each person.
Mindfulness – step by step instructions for practice
– Sit comfortably on the floor, on a pillow or on a chair. If you sit uncomfortable, you can lie down. Watch some time for sensations, find a comfortable position.
– Close your eyes. For a while, just sit, getting used to the situation, and tune in to the practice, letting go of all thoughts of the past and not worrying about the future.
– Be aware of the sensations in the body. Pay attention to areas of contact with the floor, with a pillow or with a chair, at the areas of contact between the hands and the knees on which they lie.
– Pay attention to the breath. Inhale-exhale. Take a deep breath and let it go, take another deep breath and let it go.
“Let the breath move naturally, not controlling it, but just watching it.”
– Focus on breathing as it comes in and out without thinking about breathing, but rather feeling it. Study the breath: is it long or short, is it limited? Notice how the air enters the nose and moves, and then comes out as you exhale. Pay attention to the movements of the abdomen, as it rises and falls with inhalation and exhalation.
– When you notice that you are distracted and go into your thoughts, gently and smoothly return your attention to your breath, letting go of your thoughts.
– quietly return to normal
– When you are ready, quietly open your eyes, try to maintain awareness throughout the day.
Mindfulness for stress relief
The increasing pace of life in our time from day to day is detrimental to health. Stress in the workplace affects the economy as a whole, but the highest price we pay is an increasingly disappearing sense of well-being among modern people.
Since I run this blog and meditation courses, I have seen readers from different backgrounds. Top managers of companies, artists, doctors, teachers, merchants, moms and dads, all are experiencing the same thing – stress.
- Constant anxiety
- Restless sleep
- Low energy level, constant fatigue
- Restless mind
- Self-critical or critical attitude towards other people
- Sense of boredom
- Difficulty concentrating
- Rash and poor skin condition
- Chronic muscle clamps
- Headaches and Migraine
Stress, accumulating in the body, can manifest as a multitude of diseases. When we are under stress, we suffer from lack of energy, enthusiasm and inspiration. Fortunately, this problem has not gone unnoticed in the scientific and medical world. Over the past decade, many studies have been conducted on the effects of stress on health, as well as ways to combat it.
More and more scientific evidence indicates that the ancient practice of conscious meditation with eyes closed or mindfulness is an effective way to get the necessary rest to get rid of stress. Silently staying inside of oneself and observing breathing with eyes closed causes a complex of psycho-physiological changes, which are called relaxation reactions. Relaxation reactions are measurable changes in the body and mind, which deactivate the stress response and quickly restore the body from the negative effects of stress.
Some of the measured changes as a result of the relaxation response are:
- Improve brain function
- Increased immune function
- Lower blood pressure
- Heart rate reduction
- Attention improvement
- Increased clarity of thinking and perception
- Reduced anxiety
- Inner peace
10 Mindfulness exercises for everyday life
Many people mistakenly think that meditation is a halt to internal dialogue. Because of this delusion, those who begin to meditate may decide that they practice badly. Mindfulness does not involve stopping the thinking process, but rather makes it focused and effective for solving problems in everyday life. You can bring awareness to ordinary things by simply paying attention to your feelings. It helps to actually be present in what you are doing, rather than wandering around in thinking.
The following mindfulness exercises can be practiced every day.
- Mindfulness during a conversation. Meditate when listening to the other person. Pay attention to the sound and rhythm of the voice, the facial expression. Notice how your mind goes into your thoughts while the other person speaks. Pay attention to your desire to speak. Note to yourself that it is easier for you: listen or speak.
- Mindfulness exercise while eating. Pay attention to the food on the plate, the color, the shape and the smell. Be aware of the taste, texture of food and also chew consciously. You may notice that when the mind is distracted from the process of eating, you quickly swallow food, almost without chewing. When you notice this, return attention now.
- Mindfulness in stores. Modern shopping centers are a battlefield of various brands for your attention. Marketers are trying hard to come up with the most effective ways to manage your attention. Watch how they do it when something attracts attention, try to realize how it worked, how your mind falls into this trap. Practice controlling your mind consciously.
- Mindfulness in social networks. Before accessing Facebook or Instagram, decide how much time you plan to spend there. When the time is up, pay attention to the desire to continue flipping through the tape. Be aware of your feelings when you experience other people’s lives on social networks.
- Mindfulness driving. Pay attention to your hands on the wheel. Be aware of your posture if you find unconscious tension in your body, be aware of it and relax. Let your shoulders be relaxed. If possible, turn off the radio and stay in silence.
- Mindfulness during a conflict. In a difficult conversation, pay attention to the sensations in the body caused by anger or fear. How do you feel your body temperature, how fast is your heart beating? Pay attention to your desire to defend or react in some way.
- Mindfulness during physical training. Tune in to body sensations during exercise. Pay attention to what thoughts arise when you overcome your laziness. Spend some energy to thank your body for the opportunities it has.
- Mindfulness exercise before bedtime. Most people fall asleep with a phone or laptop. Try to postpone all devices and realize how the process of falling asleep.
- Mindfulness in the shower. A good way to strengthen the habit of mindfulness is to associate it with some already familiar action that you perform every day. When you take a shower, pay attention to the temperature of the water and the sensations in the body. Watch for attention, and when it is distracted, return it to bodily sensations.
- Mindfulness in walking. We often combine walking with other activities – listening to music, talking on the phone, and chatting. Try to make walking a conscious practice. Feel your feet touching the ground. Try to go slower than usual. Be aware of the surrounding space, smells, colors, sounds. Use this time when you go somewhere to bring the practice of mindfulness into your life.
Initially, mindfulness was coined as a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy method. After this technique proved to be effective in treating depression and even certain physical diseases, its creators decided to distribute mind-fulness therapy all over the world.
Mindfulness as a therapy method works with pain. A person is usually willing to be in the present moment when he likes what is happening. But if the present moment brings pain, the man is trying in every way to avoid contact with him. It rarely happens that circumstances suit us completely. Usually there is always some kind of pain in the present moment and we say: If only … Therefore, almost always the mind goes into dreams of the future or memories of the past. In this way, he is protected from the pain of being in touch with the reality of the present moment. TV, alcohol, drugs, social networks are ways to avoid experiencing the present.
Mindfulness teaches gradually open your mind to what is happening now. To realize the algorithms of the mind and psyche, to understand how the mind avoids real feelings and sensations. For this you need to develop the quality of an impartial observer. This is the only way to see how habitual reactions to what is happening inside arise, and habitual behavior is built. And only by realizing this can you change the course of behavior, choose your reactions reasonably, and not automatically.
The practice of Mindfulness does not mean to avoid heartache and not to suppress it, but to face it and live in the present moment. A mindfulness practitioner has no desire to change himself, no matter how paradoxical it may be. And it is this total acceptance of oneself with all the pain and shortcomings, this state without the desire to correct something in the present itself and in the present moment that gives rise to real internal changes. There is only one way to achieve this state – to train in yourself an impartial observation of feelings and sensations without a constant assessment and division of everything that happens into “bad” and “good”. In this practice, mindfulness fully coincides with the main theses of the Eastern spiritual techniques of Buddhism and Zen.
Mindfulness in the works
Creativity is the natural way to practice mindfulness. Colors, textures, sounds are always in the present moment and bring you to the realization of the “now” moment when you interact with them. You do not need any prior training to meditate during your creative work, but only the desire to create as a child – freely and enthusiastically.
Regardless of your professionalism and experience in art, approach creativity with the beginner’s mind. See the world as if you see it for the first time, with unlimited curiosity and a desire to express your impressions in drawing, music, and dance.
Mindfulness in creativity means a continuous streaming state of creation without evaluation, without returning back and without corrections. All this, of course, should be, but then when you get out of the state of meditation.
I tried to shed light on the question of what is mindfulness from different sides, so the article was a long one. If you are interested in this method, I advise you to read the books of John Kabat-Zinn for a more detailed study of Mindfulness.
There I show you the fastest and safest way from scratch to learn how to meditate and transfer a state of awareness to everyday life.