Mindfulness 101

“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”  ― Amit Ray

This year I’ve been exploring the concept of using connection as a way to increase peacefulness and improve your quality of life. Today I’m diving into using mindfulness in that process. Mindfulness is a term you’ve probably heard before. It’s a common word, but it may not be one that you fully understand how to utilize in your life. Let’s remedy that!

At its core, mindfulness is the act of maintaining awareness of your thoughts, actions, emotions, and feelings. It includes paying attention to how your body feels, and also, being aware of your surroundings and how they might be affecting you. In essence, mindfulness is about paying attention and not just zoning out or going through your days on auto-pilot.

Mindfulness can help in a multitude of ways. For example, it’s helped me to realize that I was eating mostly junky carb-filled food. When I finally started paying attention and tracking my food intake, I realized that I’d been surviving on what amounted to a mostly sugar diet. But now that I shop and eat more mindfully, I’m better aware of what goes into my body and therefore, my weight stays closer to where I want it to be.

Mindfulness has also helped me realize the importance of the head-heart-body connection. Getting to where you’re paying attention to your head-heart-body connection goes a long way in living a mindful life. Being present enough to check in with these three aspect is critical in the pursuit of a mindful lifestyle. Creating the connection between the three helps increase a sense of peacefulness inside us.

If you’ve not practiced mindfulness before, there will be an adjustment period for you. If you’re used to going through the motions and not being deliberate, then it will take some time to make mindfulness part of your routine. Don’t fret or get frustrated. There’s a certain amount of ramp-up time for everyone who practices mindfulness. Also: there’s no perfect way to do it so you’re best off just trying and adjusting as you go. You can’t do it wrong either: just pay attention and move through life with awareness. That’s the gist!

Living mindfully will allow you to get in touch with the parts of yourself that may feel neglected or under-utilized. Once you start paying attention to the sensations in your body and the thoughts in your head, you’ll start to better understand how all those things are connected. Being present allows us to realize what’s weighing on us or what’s bothering us at our core.

Further, mindfulness isn’t only a cure for what might be bothering or ailing you. It also helps you to realize what you love doing and what lights you up. It also serves as a tool to let us know what makes us happy and what about our lives is satisfying and fulfilling. Mindfulness serves many different purposes and advances much of what we aim to do with our lives.

Reader Feedback:

Do you already practice mindfulness as an everyday habit? Let us know in the comments section. Share any tips or tricks that you have for increasing mindfulness in your own life or whatever works to keep you in the mindfulness habit. You could also share with us how mindfulness increases your sense of peace or your feelings of connection, either to yourself or others.

Put in Practice:

Try practicing mindfulness for a day. It’s not easy at first so you may want to set a timer for every hour or so. That way you can check in and see where you are. Forcing the practice at first can allow you to build up the habit to occur more naturally in you over time. Take it slow and be patient with yourself. There’s much to learn when you approach something like mindfulness with a beginner’s mind.