Definition of mindfulness
Here are 5 ways to practise mindfulness so you can start practising right away.
MBCT defines mindfulness as, “…the awareness that emerges through paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to things as they are. It allows us to see clearly whatever is happing in our lives”
There is no one definition of what mindfulness is, but in its essence mindfulness is a way of being present in the moment without judgment or attachment. It helps us be more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
To read more on what mindfulness is please click here
1 -Start with a single breath.
To begin practising mindfulness, simply take one deep breath. Notice how your body feels as you inhale and exhale. You might notice your chest rising and falling, or your stomach moving up and down. As you breathe deeply, focus on your breathing if you need a visual aid to help you focus on your breath click here and download our mindfulness tool.
Use the breath as your anchor, to help you be in the here and now. If your mind wanders, into worry, anxiety or depressive thoughts, gently bring it back to your breath. It will help to calm the busy anxious mind and ground you in the now.
2- Focus on one thing at a time.
Once you’re comfortable with focusing on your breath, try taking two breaths at once. This will help you become more aware of your surroundings. Try counting each breath out loud, or count backwards by three when you inhale. If you are suffering from asthma or epileptic seizures it is always better to get your doctor’s advice before you start any kind of breathing exercises
3 -Be present in the moment.
Being present in the moment means being fully engaged in what you’re doing without thinking about anything else. It also means not letting yourself get distracted by thoughts, feelings, or other things going on around you. When you are in the present moment awareness of life is fuller and more colourful, you are fully engaging with the world around you with all your five senses.
The mindful colouring technique is very effective in bringing you into the present moment. Download our free mindfulness colouring techniques.
4- Take note of your thoughts.
To begin with, take note of your thoughts. Notice when you think about something, whether it’s positive or negative. You might notice that some thoughts come up more often than others. If you find yourself getting caught up in negative thoughts, try to catch them before they turn into an obsession. Just take note of your thoughts and do not hold conversations with them, example: “When you note you have just had a negative thought about someone’s behaviours, try not to say I should not think that way”. Just note you have had that negative thought and move on. You are not ignoring your thought, on the contrary, you have to acknowledge the thought and choose to react in a calmer manner than letting the person’s behaviour take control of your emotions and actions.
5- Notice emotions without reacting
Next, notice how you feel physically. Do you feel tired, hungry, angry, sad, happy, etc.? Pay attention to these feelings without reacting to them. This will help you become aware of what emotions you are feeling.
Here is a summary of the 5 ways to practise mindfulness
– Start with a Single Breath.
– Focus on One Thing at a Time.
– Be Present in the Moment.
– Take Note of Your Thoughts.
– Notice Emotions Without Reacting
This process helps you connect with your breath and body and you begin to notice how your emotional state, thoughts, and feelings are having an effect on your body. For example, you may notice how a thought may cause your stomach to cramp. As your practice grows, you will be able to gently observe these thoughts without having any reactions, thus reducing stress, anxiety, and depression and improving relationships and work performance.
To deepen your mindfulness practice through our mindfulness course also check out our stress management workshop.