Very often, we have heard people saying that they were able to overcome their difficulties by being strong-minded and being mindful of their surroundings.
This does leave us a bit confused. What does that mean? In the following paragraphs, we look at what mindfulness means and ways of improving it.
MindfulnessMindfulness, according to the Oxford dictionary, is a state of mind achieved by focusing on a person’s awareness of the present while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's thoughts, feelings, and body sensations.
It is usually used as a therapeutic technique. In other words, mindfulness is a psychological process of turning your attention to experiences that are occurring at the present moment.
Being mindful makes you enjoy the moment without being judgmental. One can become strong-minded through meditation and other training techniques.
Being mindful allows you to enjoy moments like feeling the air when you go for a walk, knowing how delicious your regular dinner is, etc.
The ultimate goal of being mindful is teaching you how to shift thoughts away from your usual preoccupations to appreciating the present moment and having a broader perspective on life.
Being mindful has also been scientifically proved to benefit a person both physically and psychologically. It is also known to remodel a person’s brain physically.
How To Attain MindfulnessWhile mindfulness is something that all possess naturally, it is enhanced when we practice being mindful daily. The following are the two things that one can try to become strong-minded.
- Sit either cross-legged or straight on the floor or a chair.
- Focus your attention on an aspect of breathing, like the way you are breathing or rise or fall of your stomach while inhaling and exhaling.
- Once your concentration has been fixed on a particular aspect, start widening your focus and try to become more aware of your surroundings. Become aware of ideas, sounds, and sensations.
- Embrace each sensation or thought without being judgmental. If you feel the mind is wandering, then start concentrating on your breathing. Start expanding awareness again.
- Mediation is a simple process but will take time. Don’t feel disheartened when you face obstacles initially. Try practicing and you will start seeing results in a week or fortnight.
Mindfulness in the Present MomentIf meditation is not something you prefer, then try having a less formal approach.
Instead of meditation, you can concentrate on any task or moments like showering, playing with your child, walking, etc. to practice informal mindfulness. With practice, this feeling of awareness will start coming naturally.
- Start by focusing your attention to bodily sensations
- Focus on inhaling through your nose, feeling the movement of air towards your lower stomach. Allow for full expansion of the stomach. Exhale through your mouth. Notice different sensations while inhaling and exhaling
- Proceed with your task slowly and consciously
- Engage the senses fully. Take notice of every sound, sight, and touch. This will help in enjoying every sensation
- When you feel that your mind is wavering, then try bringing your focus to the present moment and sensation attached to it