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Have you ever started eating an ice cream cone, eaten a few bites, and suddenly realized all you had in your hand was a sticky napkin? Or have you ever been somewhere and then realized you haven't noticed anything or anyone you encountered along the way? You have, of course! These are common examples of "mindlessness," or "going on automatic pilot," as some refer to it. Which may make you question, "How can I incorporate greater awareness into my daily life?"
We all develop mind-body patterns, such as paying attention and not paying attention, which leads to us not being present in our own lives. The cost of this inattention can be substantial. This can cause us to lose out on some wonderful opportunities, as well as to ignore critical facts and messages about our lives, relationships, and even our own health.
Mindfulness is a powerful antidote to the propensity to "tune out," or go on "automatic pilot." Mindfulness is defined as paying more attentive attention in a specific way. Mindfulness is a quality that we all possess. It is the characteristic of bare awareness that recognizes what is happening right now. Mindfulness is being aware of what is going on both outside of and inside our bodies.
Allow your thoughts to stray.
Even if you only practice for a few breaths or minutes, you will notice a difference. When this happens, be kind and patient with yourself, and slowly bring your attention back to the sensation of breathing.
Observe any temptation to be harsh with oneself, to be frustrated, or to feel like a failure.
Consider this form of judgment to be just another type of thought, and gradually bring your attention back to your breathing.
Relax, especially if you're only going to practice for a few breaths or a few minutes.
This sense of calm is a valuable ally. It assists us in being more present and conscious. Mindfulness, on the other hand, isn't just about relaxation! It's all about being attentive and present in the moment.
Expect to become more aware of more things, even more, painful ones.
This is a step forward. There's nothing wrong with you! You are, on the contrary, growing your awareness of everything. When you notice the painful things, check if you can hold yourself with compassion and kindness while continuing to offer open-hearted awareness to the unfolding experience.
Staying present is something you should practice.
We can learn to be open to all options in any scenario by not turning away from the terrible things in our lives. This improves our possibilities of healing and transformation when dealing with the pain we're experiencing. It also gives us a technique to deal with situations in which there is nothing else we can do to "go away from the pain," but we must learn to live with it. We can find that interaction with pain has no effect on the quality of mindfulness, that it can know pain as completely and thoroughly as any other experience.
Make sure you're not pushing yourself too hard.
Try not to force anything to happen, or to attain any unusual moods or consequences! Simply relax and pay as much attention as possible to the present moment. Whatever shape it takes. Allow yourself to be fully immersed in life as it unfolds, paying close attention and with an open heart.
Our reactions to stressful situations in our life can become so ingrained that they happen almost without our knowledge until we can no longer ignore them due to bodily, emotional, or psychological problems. Tension in the body, unpleasant emotional states, even fear and sadness, and being enslaved by thinking and self-talk habits such as obsessive list creation and strong, even toxic self-criticism are all examples of these reactions.
All we have to do is bring our attention to the present moment and allow ourselves to be present with what is.
As a result, we can practice mindfulness and become more aware of our surroundings. All we have to do is bring our attention to the present moment and allow ourselves to be present with what is. Resting in the present moment's consciousness. To observe without attempting to change anything. Allowing ourselves to become more deeply and fully aware of what we're feeling. And to be present with what we're going through. In each moment as our lives unfold, to rest in this aspect of being, of being awake.
And, to the extent that we can practice "being" and become more present and aware of our lives and ourselves, the "doing" we do about it will be more informed, more responsive, and less influenced by reactionary and inattentive habits.
Put in the effort! Remember that you can be more mindful whenever you think of it through the day or night. See for yourself what it's like to pay closer attention and allow yourself to directly experience what's going on around you, especially in your own body, heart, and mind.
There are three easy methods to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine:
When commencing a new activity (for example, starting a meeting with 2 minutes of silence and attention on the breath, or taking a few mindful breaths before entering a patient's room, or focusing on the breath before commencing an exercise routine).
When you're in the middle of an issue or a process that's already underway (bringing attention to the breath, or to the sensations arising while washing dishes, eating a meal, walking the dog, doing a job, etc.)
Or when you're just waiting in between things on your to-do list (gently bringing attention to the breath or the sounds or the sensations or the sights or even the thoughts while at a red light, in a line at the bus stop or grocery, or waiting for someone else to arrive).
Use the feel of the breath as an "anchor" for consciousness in the present moment in these situations. Establish mindfulness by concentrating solely on the feeling of breathing. Allow yourself to experience the breath as it enters and exits, as well as the gap between them. Don't try to keep your breath under control. Allow it to pass you by. Pay as much attention to the direct sensation of the breath as you can, completely and consistently.
After a while, once you've established awareness of the breath experience, you can broaden your focus to incorporate all bodily sensations in addition to the breath experience. Again, I'm not attempting to alter anything. Allow yourself to feel and be aware of your body's changing sensations.
After a while, if desired, you can extend the focus even more to cover all that is present. This includes everything you're hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and even thinking about. Simply try being present with these various experiences as they happen. Allowing yourself to experience your life right now. Mindfulness is the open-hearted, choiceless observation of what is happening right now.
When you're feeling lost, confused, or frustrated, slowly limit your focus and bring your attention back to the sensation of your breath. It's possible that you'll have to do this on a regular basis. It's all right. If you're new to meditation, you might want to focus solely on your breathing. That's ok, too. What matters is the level of awareness you bring to the situation. One breath of mindfulness, when we are completely there, can be transformative. Take a look for yourself.
This is a way to practice mindfulness at any time of day or night. Practice for a few breaths or even a few mindful moments at a time. You can also make this a more “formal” meditation practice by setting out some time (from a few minutes to an hour or more, as desired) free of other activities or distractions to focus just on being present, conscious of what is present. Over time, you may discover that your capacity to practice "informally" throughout the day and night in many situations is supported and strengthened by the "formal" practice.