We all want to be better in some way. There’s room for improvement within each and every one of us. Whether we strive to be better parents, or partners, or better at doing what we love, there are endless ways to be better. During the New Year, we all tend to think of the ways we could improve ourselves, and make resolutions to do so during the coming year.
There’s a way for us to become more aware of ourselves and our surroundings, enhancing our sense of peace, and making us into calmer, happier people.
It’s called mindfulness.
What is mindfulness? The definition of mindfulness on Google is ‘’the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something,” and “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Mindfulness is essentially raising our awareness. Take a second to pause what you are doing. Take a deep breath and look around. Becoming aware of where you are and what you’re doing at this moment helps us to let go of the thoughts of the future and the past. Once we can let go of these thoughts, we become more at peace with the present moment. We cannot control the future or the past. Anxiety can be described as worrying about the things which are out of our control. Therefore, letting go of these thoughts helps us release anxiety. Once we release anxiety, we can allow a sense of peace to come over us. Allow the thoughts about the future or the past to come, and just as easily as they came, let them go. Instead of dwelling on the thoughts and letting them spiral, release the thoughts.
The more we practice the idea of mindfulness, the easier it becomes. It becomes much more natural the more we practice.
One of the most common ways to practice mindfulness is through meditation. Take ten minutes out of your day. Sit in a cross-legged position, hands on your thighs. Close your eyes. Inhale deeply. Exhale until you cannot exhale anymore. Repeat the process. Focus on how it feels when your lungs are full of air. Feel your breath within your body. The simple act of breathing brings awareness to the fact that we are alive.
Being mindful is a simple way of living that enhances the quality of life. It’s not meant to be difficult, it’s simply focusing on being present in the moment. Our thoughts can take us into a different time; when you are present, you bring your thoughts to the current moment. Mindfulness makes you grounded, and takes your head out of the clouds, gently releasing you back into the present.
There are numerous definitions of mindfulness, and the word means something different to each individual perspective. Whatever you make of the word becomes true in your world.