How to Cultivate A Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness is the quality or state of being aware of something. In a nutshell, it suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening in the moment, to what you’re doing in the moment, and to the space you’re moving through. When we aren’t focused our attention in the past or the future, we are in the now.
When we are able to focus our attention on the present moment, we are able to eliminate the mind chatter that stops us from accessing clarity and peace, accepting what is happening in our lives and how it’s playing out in our daily life. When our minds take flight without focus, it’s very easy to agree with thought patterns and beliefs that don’t serve our well-being. The challenge with cultivating mindfulness is that we live in a world full of distractions that are constantly vying for our attention. Mindfulness brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it reduces the stress and the need to control everything we think we need to control to be happy.
The best way to understand mindfulness is to become intimate with it. You have to develop a relationship with it. You’d be surprised, but you already have the tools to develop this relationship. We are all born with the capacity to be present. We don’t have to change anything about who we are. All we have to do is teach ourselves to develop these innate qualities with simple habits that have been scientifically proven to helps us access the natural state of being. Starting a mindfulness practice doesn’t require you to change your religious beliefs either. In fact, it will help you connect to your spiritual practice in a deeper more profound way.
Mindfulness begins and ends in the body; thus, we can experience mindfulness with all of our senses, taste, smell, sound, touch and sight. The very act of bringing awareness to our body can immediately bring a sense of calm as our body has biological rhythm that help us relax when we slow down and give it a chance to its job.
The first step in developing mindfulness may be investing in an app like Balance or Headspace. These tools make it easy for you to start anywhere, anytime. It’s kind of like starting an exercise regimen. Find a place in your home where you can carve out space to sit and be still, without distractions. Invest in a nice meditation cushion to help support your body and align your posture. The more sit and immerse yourself in stillnes, the easier it becomes. With practice and repetition, you’ll find that you will have better focus, more peace and more clarity. You’ll be less distracted and you’ll learn to be present for the moments and the people that deserve your full attention.
Jennifer McDaniel is a well being strategist, ICF accredited professional coach. She has 25+ years of experience as a professional speaker, corporate trainer and a learning development leader in the beauty, health and wellness space.Read More
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