Your body is present, is your mind?
Mindfulness is the newest topic in Western psychology and for a very good reason. It has become an increasingly popular practice in our society with the attempt of enriching minds and allowing people to live in the present. As someone who has been on a journey towards minimalism, there's no denying the connection between them both. Although they are different practices they both encapsulate living in the present and not the past nor the future.
My first question when starting to research more about this practice was how long it has been around for, what I found out is that it's not new, in fact, it's an ancient practice that was used through a range of Eastern philosophies, like Taoism, Yoga, and Buddism. This stemmed off for me into a further interest in Buddism itself which uses mindfulness among other practices.
My next question was, what is so different about people who practice mindfulness to people who don't. These were the tops things that came up:
- They don't believe their thoughts and they don't take them all that seriously
- They don't try to avoid or deny emotions
- They understand that all things come and go
- They do one thing at a time
- They turn everyday tasks into mindful moments
- They practice being curious
- They get outdoors and embrace the beauty of nature
- They slow down when reading and truly take the information in
- They are fully present when listening without trying to control or judge
- They take breaks every hour or so when studying or working
- They laugh at themselves
- They focus on what they're doing
- They challenge existing beliefs
- They nourish their bodies
Through all of these, I think it is clear to see that people who practice mindfulness live in the present moment and allow their mind to do the same. Although my journey is just beginning I am already aware of these things and have noticed a change in my positivity and living more in the moment rather than the past. There's always things in the past that you tend to overthink, things that are happening right now in the present that remove you from the good things in your life. Personally, I think if everybody was a little bit more mindful the world would be a better place.
I found four easy ways to practice mindfulness to help you get on your way, they all should take at least 10 - 15 minutes each!
- Do a body scan paying attention to any tension or stress in your body and think about releasing that stress
- Start your day with a basic yoga salutation
- Take a break to check in with your breathing, taking normal and deep breaths to center yourself in the present
- Relax at the end of the day with a guided meditation (this is my recommended meditation before sleeping: https://youtu.be/y8LIbeKQ60U )
If you read my post on New Years resolutions you’ll know that practicing meditation and mindfulness was one of my goals. Living in a fast paced city like London can sometimes numb your senses about where you are, you can get stuck in the same routine and hardly notice what’s going on around you. If there’s one thing you can take away from mindfulness it is living in and for the moment.