by Kirsten Cowart,
The Mind Unleashed
Living mindfully is one of the very best ways that you can transform your life. When people think about meditation they think about sitting in lotus pose and clearing your mind for extended periods of time. Mindfulness is awesome because it is about becoming fully present in this moment and becoming fully aware of your senses, thoughts, and emotions.
One of the most incredible parts of this practice is that you can make it a part of nearly everything you do in a normal day. When you fully become present you tap into what appears to others as super powers. You don’t miss the subtle happenings around you and can better anticipate future events.
This hyper awareness will not only help you better respond to your surroundings, but it helps you become fully in tune with your body, emotions, feelings, thoughts and spiritual intuitional as well.
I have to tell you that these practices have completely changed my life, but I don’t want you to get caught up in what it has done for me personally, instead I want you to experience it yourself and create your own stories of transformational change.
1. Connecting Completely with Your Senses
The first step to really tap into mindfulness is to completely connect with your physical senses. Studies have shown that this is the easier when you are doing something repetitive or familiar such as washing the dishes, folding your laundry or even playing a video game.
Example: When washing the dishes become present enough that you smell the soap in the air, feel the warm water, hear the water dripping into the sink, see the unique pattern of the soap on the surface of the water.
As you become fully anchored in your senses you will start noticing more than you ever did before. Colors will become more vivid, food will smell and taste more rich, and the texture of something as simple as clothing will become something you are tuned into.
According to the study conducted with 51 students, they found that those who used the mindfulness technique reported a 27% decrease in nervousness. They also experienced an increase in mental inspiration by 25%.
2. Observe your breathing
Most of us are breathing all the time. With that being said, every time you take a breath you can use it to recenter and observe. Feel every sensation of your breathing and if thoughts or emotions float your way then observe them without engaging with them. They are there, you respect their space and continue to breathe.
Most of us don’t think about how sacred and powerful breathing is unless it has been taken away. Suffering from choking or asthma shouldn’t be the only reason to be in complete awe at the incredible exchange of life-giving molecules that each breath contains. We are in constant communion with nature, with every breath.
3. Eating mindfully
Too often with eating the first bite fills us with pleasure and then every bite after that is chasing that initial feeling. We are in a society that eats unhealthy and often ends up overeating as well. When you slow down and feel each bite both physically and emotionally, meals become more about the long term effects than the short term pleasure.
During and after a meal ask yourself how you feel. Did that meal leave you balanced, happy and energized or do you feel heavy, slowed down and negative? Mindful eating can help you become more aware of how food affects us and will help us gain more control over the fuel we put into ourselves.
You may notice right away with healthy eating that your mind, body and spirit feel lighter and more aware.
4. Walking mindfully
Motion is wonderful for mindfulness meditation. Every new step can be an adventure as you dive deep into your senses and feel the wind at your back. This is a great way to observe your thoughts and emotions, almost as a third party and understand them from a higher level.
When I have used walking as a meditation I am always honored to think that the earth is there to catch me with every step. We own a lot to our mother earth and it is through the grounded steps of mindful walking that we can more easily remember her.
5. Pause between actions
When something happens such as you hear the buzz of your phone you need not rush to it. Instead try mindfully observing the pauses between tasks. When your nose itches observe the itch, observe the desire to scratch the itch. Such a silly thing desire is. It is neither bad nor good, it just is. How curious.
Use these pauses to slow down, recenter, mindfully and consciously move from task to task instead of getting whisked away by the business of life. Pausing can take but a second. No one needs to notice that you are doing it. Just breathe and observe why you are about to do that next thing.
This practice specifically will help you to think before you react, breathe before you speak, and recenter before you act. This can be priceless when dealing with difficult situations.
6. Listen wholeheartedly
When you are listening to someone do not listen with the intent to reply. Instead, slow your mind and just absorb what they are saying. Listen to their words, their tone, their body language, what is going on around you and what your feelings are saying. This is a great time to keep your thoughts silent.
When you are taking in new information, it is much easier to quiet the mind. Some people can turn their thoughts off like a switch but for people like me who seem to constantly have their mind going a million miles a minute instead try slowing them down. Literally think in slow motion and put all of your focus on the person or situation you are connecting with.
This technique isn’t just for speech. Go to a park or out in nature and listen with your eyes, ears, nose, and touch. Fully experience the world through your senses. Smell the earth, touch a tree, and listen to the birds sing. Animals have some of the most incredible reflexes because for the most part they are fully present. Learn from their example.
7. Observe your thoughts and emotions
It is important for us to learn how to tell the difference between our emotions and our feelings. When you are grounded and present with mindfulness it is much easier to tell the difference. Emotions are chemical based and often linked to hormones. They are more closely associated with the three lower chakras and are about anger, over excitement, fear, rejection, pride, urges, power, lack, and control.
Feelings, on the other hand, are from a more neutral space. This is where your souls speaks to you. This is where your intuition, gut feelings, and calm observation pay off. You will not be fooled by others when you are trusting your feelings. Calm balanced neutrality is key for guiding the decisions of your life.
Don’t make decisions when you are sad, don’t speak when you are angry, and don’t make promises when you are excited.
It is also important to realize that you are not always your thoughts. Just because a thought goes through your mind doesn’t mean you are a good or bad person. The thoughts you engage with the most trickle down into words and actions so it is good to know which parts of the thought realm you truly wish to entertain within your mind.
8. Get lost in the flow of doing things you love
Following your greatest joy may land you in places or with projects that completely sweep you away. The flow is so strong that you lose all sense of time and enter what ancient Greeks called kairos time (gods time). Sometimes for people this is art, music or dancing. For others it’s inventing, reading, healing, writing or connecting with other souls.
It’s ok to go with this flow, to trust your instincts and to mindfully follow what your heart desires.
9. Meditate daily
Though all of these activities can be a form of meditation there is a lot of power in choosing to sit in meditation every day. You give yourself that moment to observe, to breathe and to just be. How often do we allow ourselves to have a true break at least mentally? Probably not often enough. Even if it is just ten minutes give yourself some time to breathe, recenter, connect with yourself and be present.
10. Travel or mix up your routine
Changing up your routine and traveling to new places will help you better prepare for life. Reality is continuously changing, shifting and molding into new experiences. The quicker we can fully accept change the sooner our soul can be at peace and we can return to the present moment.
Even if the present moment is uncomfortable I have found that the quickest way to find peace is to fully accept it and be present with it. There are powerful lessons in the uncomfortable parts of life. When your stomach hurts don’t numb out or distract yourself. Instead, experience it fully. Maybe there is a message there and maybe that lesson is to eat more mindfully.
Perhaps you are uncomfortable because someone hurt you. Be present and fully accept what has happened. Once you do that you can emotionally process it better and more creatively find a solution where everyone involved can thrive.
You are a powerful being, just remember that most of your power is contained in the present mindful moment. Right now you have the power you are looking for to find peace, change, or whatever your heart desires most.
Let us know in the comments below what you do to stay mindful in your daily life.
About the author:
Kirsten is a writer and researcher who loves to practice meditation, yoga, travel, and learning about reality, consciousness, and how to make the world a better place. Her current interests involve studying and practicing flow, staying In Flow, and recognizing the natural flow of the universe. Kirsten loves to learn about the holistic healing arts. She is also interested in ancient cultures and practices such as Shamanism and Druidism. Kirsten is honored to be apart of such an incredible movement of love and heart centered living in this world.
Related BodyMindSoulSpirit Articles:
Use Facebook to Comment on this Post