What is mindfulness and where should you start?
The Webster definition is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”
Essentially, mindfulness is a state of focused awareness on the present.
It is training our brain to recognize when we are distracted and redirect our attention to what is right in front of us.
When we’re taking a shower are we intently focused on the feeling of the water on our skin or the smell of that lavender soap?
In reality, our minds are most likely wandering. Whether it’s planning out our day or revisiting an old conversation, there’s a slim chance we are completely focused on the task at hand.
According to a Harvard study, our minds are wandering about 50% of the time we are awake. That’s an incredibly high percentage of our lives that we seemingly miss out on.
The fact of the matter is that the past and future have no reality of their own. What happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow exist only as ideas in your head.
That’s not to say that having memories or thinking about the future is a complete waste of time.
But, the living part of our life happens in the present. And most of us are missing out on it.
Practicing mindfulness allows us to take back control over our thoughts and truly enjoy every little moment.
The scientific benefits of a mindfulness practice are well-documented.
Being mindful is not magic, but neither is it a coincidence.
It’s the result of small, conscious activities that lead to a more clear, focused mind.
The best way to see improvement is to practice every day. But, first, you need a place to start your journey to mindfulness.
Get started right now with this exercise!
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