What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what's going on around us. Mindfulness is something that we all possess naturally, it is more readily available to us if we practice it on a daily basis
The Basics of Mindfulness Practice
Here are a few ways that we can tap into our mindfulness state
1. Set aside some time - This is the first basic step which you need to follow, you don't need a piece of special equipment or bench to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space.
2. Observe the present moment as it is - The whole goal of mindfulness is not making the going quiet or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgments arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them. Don't let it bother you, let it flow and pass along
3. Return to observing the present moment as it is - It is observed that our mind tends to get carried away in our thoughts That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don't judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
Basic mindfulness meditation –Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or“mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
Sensory –Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them“sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
Urge surfing –Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.