Integrating Mindfulness

In today’s bustling lifestyle, finding these extra few meditational moments seems like a task easier said than done. Smart advice comes from those who heed meditation, but along with it comes the price tag of time that most of us feel we cannot afford.

But what if you don’t have to leave the world behind for ten to fifteen minutes just to reap in the meditation benefits? What if you don’t have to break your busy overwhelming schedule just to squeeze in this additional routine? What if you could acquire a clearer mindset and self-awareness, better physical composition and the ability to regulate both your emotions and attention just by being mindful?

Being mindful means purposely paying attention to your thoughts, emotions and sensations as they happen and letting them pass without a second thought. It means being aware of your external surroundings and noticing the connection between you and the world, and allowing it to proceed with acceptance. It means engaging all your senses, absorbing the information around you, acknowledging it and then letting it pass by without judgment. Mindfulness is the union of mind, body and environment at the present moment.

Whilst going through your day, bring your attention to any regular task and live every moment of it. Be aware of what you are doing; every action, reaction, movement and motion caused. Put thought and awareness into what you are doing.

You can be mindful doing just about any activity, like walking for example. When you are walking, don’t just walk. Notice the pace of your breath and acknowledge it Yes, I am breathing. Notice how your body feels by focusing on your muscles and joints. Really feel them and be aware of each muscle individually and how it responds to each movement. Catch the rhythm of the vibration that echoes through your body every time your foot hits the ground. Feel this rhythm and response of energy with the force you are using to generate it. Pay attention to yourself.  Engage your senses; what do you see, hear, smell, taste, feel? Take in all this information, bring it to your attention for the second that it happens and then let it slide by.

Whatever action you are doing, focus your mind on that action whilst also being a neutral observer towards that action from every possible angle.

When driving your car, focus on your driving. As the car is moving forward down the road, feel the tar beneath the wheels; notice how smooth or coarse the road is. Feel the cars aerodynamics and how it cuts through the wind. Pay attention to the road and all that is around you; see all the cars, hear all the cars, and watch them go by without giving them a second though or judgment, let them be. Forget about where you are going, don’t think about the previous conversation you just had, ask your mind to show you your fantasy scenarios later because, for now, you are in the moment. You are neither in the past nor the future, only in the moment of driving.

When washing the dishes, pay attention to the textures beneath your fingers; from the thick gunky feel of dried fat to the squeakiness of a clean plate. Notice the smells and temperatures wafting in from the moistened soapy lemon breeze that dances on the brim of the steam. Hear all the obvious sounds and see if you can tune into the not so apparent. Be aware of your neck, shoulders, stomach, legs and back and how they react to the activity

If your mind is to wonder, let it wonder but don’t get fixated on any particular thought. Mindfulness is also the practice of just watching your thoughts pass by where you kind of flick through them passively as you would on your social media news feed. Zoom into a thought to explore it a little more, then zoom out and carry on scrolling without getting attached to any one thought or allowing it to consume you and take you away.

With just a few scattered mindful moments here and there throughout the day causes significantly positive changes. There is no need to be mindful all day within every task that you do. A few minutes here and there are all you actually need.

Remember, being mindful means being in the moment and being aware that you are here and that you exist.