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Let’s learn about Mindfulness 

It is the same story with everyone! We are so busy living a fast-paced life, we don’t have a single second to spare to actually stop and notice it. We are responsible for hundreds of chores and tasks every day, but how many do we do with full consciousness? 

Not many, that’s for true! 

Mindfulness isn’t a new concept. This notion has its origin in ancient Buddhist philosophy, and refers to a state where you are conscious and aware all the time. Yes, that’s right! Mindfulness practices teaches you to be aware of everything around you: from your own body to any of your ordinary, everyday actions, the people around you, and any ordinary possessions that belong to you.  By practicing mindfulness, you can be conscious of something you had never spend a moment thinking about, and live every second to the fullest. 

But why the need for mindfulness? 

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when we are watching TV and having dinner at the same time, we can’t even remember what we ate, only a few minutes later? Or that when we leave for work, we somehow end up at our destination with no recollection of the journey? This is something happens to all of us every day, especially when we are in the middle of a familiar action; it happens because we fall into a habit and stop paying attention to our own selves and surroundings. 

This is why we need to practice mindfulness in our lives, to be conscious of the present. We are missing out on everything that’s happening to us in the present because we are usually too busy thinking about something else. If you want to go too far, you can say that we are actually absent in our own lives, and that is definitely not the right way to live.

Let’s Try To Be Mindful

Mindfulness isn’t something very difficult; you won’t need to spend hours trying out mindfulness to be an expert on it. All you need is the eagerness to be present in our own lives, and a little practice; and of course, the right way to try. 

Here are four of the most basic mindfulness practices that everyone can try. 

  1. Mindful Breathing Practices 

Breathing is something we almost never think about; it’s just something we do every second that we are alive. This is also the most basic mindfulness exercise you can try, something simple and easy. It may be simple, but it’s effect on our health and mind can be extremely surprising. 

All you need to do is to focus – really concentrate – on your own breathing. While breathing, all we need to do is to pay attention to the “breath-in-breathe-out-breathe-in-again”routine that we have going on. This is quite easy if you follow these steps: close your eyes and sit comfortably on a chair, with your hands resting easily on the armrests. Forget about everything else, and concentrate on your breathing. Focus on how you are taking in air from the environment and how it is slowly travelling through your nose into your lungs. Feel how your lungs are filled with fresh air and hold it for a few seconds, then slowly release your breath and concentrate how it leaves your lungs and goes out your nostrils. Do this for a few time until you have forsaken every other thought in the world and can concentrate fully on your own breaths. 

This mindful breathing exercise is something that you can try anywhere, anytime, at any situation. It’s a perfect exercise for when you are feeling exhausted or stressed, and especially for when you are feeling overwhelmed with your life. 

2. Mindful Eating and Drinking Exercises

Many of us love food or cooking, but how many times do we actually pay attention to what we are eating or drinking? We love to take photos of our food to upload on social media sites, but mindlessly empty our bowls while watching TV! Mindful eating/drinking exercises are extremely interesting, and it can turn an ordinary bowl of cereal into a stimulating adventure. How? Simply by concentrating on what you are eating or drinking. Suppose, you’ve just made a simple sandwich for yourself, but you decide to be mindful about the whole experience of finishing it. This is how you do it. 

Discard your phones, books or anything else that might be a distraction for you, and switch off the television. Choose a secluded place to eat your lunch, where you won’t have to make conversation with anyone else. Take the first bite and gently, and very slowly, chew. As you chew, try to identify each of the ingredients you have put inside the sandwich: the juiciness of the tomatoes, the crunchiness of the cucumber and bell peppers, the creaminess of the mayonnaise. Try to feel the different tastes that hit your taste buds, and then come together. Chew for a long time, instead of quickly trying to swallow the whole mouthful. 

After you swallow, wait for a few seconds to take the second bite. Wait for the taste to leave your mouth before you take the second bite, and repeat the same sensations with every bite. This way, your full attention should be on your snack and nothing else, right until you have finished eating. 

By being mindful of what you are eating or drinking, you can make a simple snack into an adventure. Besides, when you eat like this instead of just mindlessly finishing up your food, you will feel fuller with a little amount. It can be a great help if you are on a weight loss diet or trying to eat healthy. 

3. Mindful Walking/Jogging/Running Exercises  

If your workout or relaxation regime includes jogging or running, or if you simply like taking a stroll, you can also turn it into a mindful exercise. Here’s how to try it. 

Forget your music or audiobooks while running, jogging or walking, and rely completely on the environment. Whether you are in a park or on a busy street, there are lots of things to see around you. As you run/walk/jog, concentrate on the way your body is moving. Feel your legs making contact with the ground and how it sends ripples through your body. Listen to everything around you: the sound of birds singing, car horns, babies crying, people having conversations. Feel the air as it hits your face: is it warm or cold? Concentrate on how your breath gets heavy and fast as you progress on your path. Notice the sun falling on your face, and how sweat starts to drop from your body. 

Instead of using books or music to pass the time, you can actually make your exercise a wonderful experience that you truly enjoy, simply by being mindful about it. 

4. Mindful Awareness of Yourself/Your Body

This is another fun relaxation technique that will help you become mindful about your own body. While many of us like to spend hours in front of the mirror, criticizing or appreciating the way we look, not many of us are actually aware of how our body feels. This mindfulness exercise can help you do so. 

How can you be mindful of your body? Here’s how. 

Sit back and close your eyes, and place your hands comfortably by your side. Slowly, start to breathe in and out, as gently as you can, as fresh air fills up your lungs. Now, start from the bottom and try to feel your toes. You don’t need to move your toes or touch them with your hand; simply try to feel their existence in your mind. When you can feel your toes, slowly move upwards until you have individually thought about and felt your ankles, your legs, your calf, your knees, and so on. Take your time thinking and feeling about each and every one of your body parts, all the while breathing slowly. Explore your whole body this way, without touching or moving anything, until you can be completely aware of all your limbs and senses. Open your eyes when you have finished. 

Almost everything we do every day is for the wellness of our body and mind, but we never really stop to focus on what’s going on inside us. We eat, sleep, exercise and take a bath, and still completely ignore our bodies. With this mindfulness exercise, you can finally learn to concentrate on and listen to your own body, and learn something new about it. 

Final Words 

Unlike many other exercises – physical and mental – out there, mindfulness can bring your calmness and peace. With so many responsibilities and commitments, we don’t always have the time to listen to our inner self or on our surroundings. With mindfulness practices, you can finally do so, and learn a lot about this world that we live in.