Although Mindfulness has become really popular in the last years, the word may still seem a bit abstract and confusing for some people. Often it sounds like it is some kind of challenging practice just for the chosen ones.
So what is Mindfulness and is it meant for everyone? Definition of Mindfulness by doctor Jon Kabat-Zinn creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program is:
So what is Mindfulness and is it meant for everyone? Definition of Mindfulness by doctor Jon Kabat-Zinn creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program is: “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally”. All of us can practice our awareness of the present moment and we can start with some everyday activities.
You can start with paying attention and being aware of your surrounding by using your senses. For example, every day when you go to your work, for a walk, on the way to your friend, you can start observing your surrounding in a more mindful way. Instead of using this walk for elaborating all the plans you have in your head, or getting lost in the train of your thoughts and worries, try to notice 3 things which have similar color, 3 things which have similar shape or feel free to approach a tree, flower, grass and smell it. Notice the different sounds you can hear, colors, shapes you can see, and try to fully engage your senses.
You can try one interesting game with your friends or family- pick different types of fruit and cut it in small pieces, give each person one piece of fruit and ask everyone to close their eyes and try to use their sense of touch and smell to pay attention to this piece of fruit. Let them hold it and smell for a couple of minutes, ask them to notice characteristics like texture and smell of this fruit. Then, you can take the pieces and ask them to open their eyes and find their piece of fruit. The game can be more interesting if you provide them with similar types of fruit. When they recognize the piece they were holding they can eat it, but slowly and mindfully, being aware of the taste they can sense. Trust me, they will enjoy it much more since they have spent some time being aware of all of the characteristics of this fruit.
This exercise can be done in standing or sitting position, and all you are suppose to do is be still and focus on your breath for a few minutes. You can start by breathing in and out slowly. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow in and out of your body. If you notice wandering thoughts and worries just let them be, notice them, accept without getting attached to them and just bring your attention back slowly to your breathing. Notice the sensations in your nostrils, your shoulders, your belly etc. You can do this exercises a few times per day, just as a reminder that you are breathing and alive at this present moment.