Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and in control of what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice daily. Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
Who should Master the Art of mindfulness?
Anyone can do mindfulness practice. There are no barriers. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your physical ability is, if you’re religious or not…
Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names. We all have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these important qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit us in many ways.
The Basics of Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:
1. Take out some time – You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space.
2. Stay Focused – The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement.
3. Let your judgments roll by – When we notice judgement arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.
4. Don’t Let you mind wonder about – Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
5. Be kind and thoughtful – Don’t judge people and situations immediately. Give your mind some time and opportunity to settle down, before coming to the conclusion, for whatever thoughts crop up, ease them with logical reasoning.
It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The objective is to keep practicing.