What is mindfulness, how do you practice it, and how do you incorporate it into your everyday life?

"The Mind can be your best friend or worst enemy" – The Bhagavad-Gita

Are you Mindful of being in the present moment or is your Mind "full"?

Imagine sitting in the middle of a busy shopping mall with hundreds of people walking, chatting and you are quite aware of what’s happening around you to the finest details. You feel amazed isn’t? Mindfulness is a powerful technique that can assist us in regulating our mind, become more aware and support our overall well-being. 

What is Mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment. Though the theory and practice of Mindfulness were mostly adapted from the Buddhist culture, these practices were dated back thousands of years before that. 

Tips to practice Mindfulness:

  • Pay close attention to your breathing, especially when you are feeling intense emotions such as anger, distress, pain etc.
  • Notice - really observe - what you are sensing at a given moment, the sights, sounds, and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
  • Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and they do not define you as a person, an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns. Your emotions are not your fault, we are wired biologically to generate most of our emotional patterns. Mindfulness can help us tolerate these emotions and transit through them in a healthier way. 
  • Tune into your body’s physical sensations, examples include the water hitting your skin in the shower to the way your body rests in your office chair. Get out of the mind and listen to the body. 

How to incorporate Mindfulness?

Incorporating Mindfulness into our daily practice requires four key aspects. They are:

  • Paying attention to experience in the present moment
  • Relating to experience without judgment or resistance
  • Relating to the experience with the desire to practice compassion
  • Understanding the nature of both experience and the practitioner 

Benefits of Mindfulness:

Some of the major issues that we face in our life problem are created by our uncontrolled and deregulated mind. Mindfulness can help us to regain inner balance by taking care of every aspect of our health and well-being. Mindfulness increases our capacity to understand and think clearly, promoting self-compassion and compassion towards other living beings. The practice of a non-judgemental attention opens the door to new possibilities and brings us back to the "here and now" and invites us to live life in a present and more fulfilling manner. 

In this day and age, people are feeling quite stressed due to work, business, and life situations. Adding a Mindfulness practice to our daily routine will help us to deal with stressful thoughts and situations. Try a Mindfulness practice after thinking and challenging your own beliefs. A mindfulness practice also allows you to see the "big picture" and connect with all the resources available to deal effectively with the situation. 

It is important to learn and practice Mindfulness under the supervision of an experienced practitioner. People with complex health issues are required to practice more caution when compared to healthy individuals.