Mindfulness – Be in Touch, Be Aware
Many of us spend the majority of our lives rushing through tasks and looking to the past or future at every opportunity. This tendency often places us out of touch with the present as it unfolds around us. By failing to be aware of the moment as it happens, we rob ourselves of the ability to evaluate and interact with it to the fullest of our capabilities. We can try to break this habit by adopting a mindful perspective. It’s an easier goal to achieve than you may realize.
Gaining Mindful Awareness
The first thing we need to do if we want to be better connected to the present is to become aware of the way that background noise infiltrates our minds. We’re not talking about literal noise, though sounds can certainly be distracting. This noise is primarily composed of biological processes (like breathing, movements, and the heartbeat) that we’re naturally good at ignoring, and thoughts related to the past or future that we are not so good at ignoring. These lingering memories and anticipations prevent us from being in touch with the present. Becoming aware of their influence allows us to do something about it.
One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to try mindful meditation. It’s a simple process that can have many benefits. Don’t be intimidated by the mediation part. Meditation is just a tool we can use to help us calm the body and mind. There are many types of meditation, but it usually begins by getting comfortable in a sitting position and gradually relaxing each part of the body. Once the body is calmed, we can focus on the mind.
To be mindful, we need to place our attention on things that are happening in the present, like our own breathing or the sound of a chirping bird. The goal of mindful meditation is to become better aware of the here and now. Focusing on the present helps to reduce the influence of background noise in the brain, allowing us to become better in touch with the moment, and generally calming the chaos that is often present inside our minds.