Mindfulness is a very powerful practice of training our attention. By training our attention with the help of Mindfulness, we learn how to be present here and now. By focusing on internal and external experiences without judgment, accepting those experiences without trying to change, suppress, or stop them. This practice is powerful because it helps us learn how to stop in our excessive thoughts, worries, thoughts about the past, the future, and everything that distracts us from our immediate experience in the present and causes stress and unpleasant feelings in us.
The most common question asked today is how we can get more attention in my daily life? So today, I’m going to share some great strategies that I find most useful and that I use the most to help raise awareness throughout the day. I hope you will try them out for yourself and experience the transformative power of conscious living.
Moreover by following these tips you will develop a success oriented mind that will help you achieve success in all areas of your life.
You can do short “minute meditations” throughout the day. You will need a clock or timer for this exercise. Set the time to one minute. During this time, it is your job to focus your full attention on your breath and nothing else. You can exercise with your eyes open or closed. If during this time, you lose touch with your breath and get lost in your thoughts, let go of the thought and gently release your breath. Pay attention as often as you need to.
Minimal meditations can be good practice when you are feeling a little stressed or difficult.
When we listen to another person, we are usually present in the body but not fully present. Most of the time, we don’t focus on listening to them. We are trapped in our mental conversations. We judge what they say, mentally agree or disagree, or think about what to say later.
The next time you’re with a loved one or colleague, try to use your time as a mindfulness exercise. Don’t just listen to your words; Listen to what you say. Focus all of your attention on the other person. You will be amazed by the power of listening. This is an act of love and kindness. People really appreciate it when you really listen to them. You will find that they listen to you more as you speak.
Turn your regular housework into mindfulness sessions. Housework is a considerable part of our lives for most of us. Instead of just looking at it as a boring task, the task can become a ritual of conscience.
The next time you have to prepare dinner or wash up, focus all of your consciousness on the task you are in. Make an effort to be fully involved, don’t stop talking, or rush to the end of your mission.
For example, if you wash your clothes while wearing them, take your time, and get the job done. Pay attention to the touch and texture of the fabrics – how fresh they smell. Pay attention to the patterns and colors in the room and how they are affected by light. In some forms of yoga, make a curve and slowly move over each curve. In this way, every little act becomes a sacred rite. When you understand yourself, you stay in tune with yourself, your space, and even the world around you – and everyone works in harmony.
Mindful eating can help you regain the pleasure of eating. Many of us have nothing to do with it, it is one of the simplest and most wonderful joys in life. Mindful eating has been shown to aid weight loss and healthy digestion. When you sit down to eat, turn off all distractions, and focus on your immediate experience. Stop before you start eating. Pay attention to your food, pay attention to the smell. Take small snacks while eating and eat slowly. Be fully present with your experience now.
Our culture consists of business, commitment, deadlines, commitment, and success. The information age forces us to run through life at a pace that would make our heads spin, but are we happier?
Many of us rarely allow ourselves to slow down and be fully present in the precious moments of our lives, and we shorten life by living it.
Physical slowing down helps us to slow down mentally. We get more joy from life when we slow down like this. Take time to eat and get in touch with your family (with the TV off!). Walk barefoot on the grass and enjoy the feeling. Take the time to contact the customer instead of “selling” him. Do one thing at a time and be present, ultimately
One Thing At a Time
For decades, the slogan was “multitasking”. Some brag about their multitasking skills in their resumes or during job interviews; others do it between friends and family while discussing things they are trying to do in one day. There is a myth that multitasking makes us more productive; it dries us faster. Trying to spread attention in such a subtle way and following so many things makes us more prone to mistakes. We are no longer productive; we are just preoccupied, both mentally and physically, and we try in vain.
Try to change the focus so that you do only one thing at a time. Solve each task with full awareness, one by one. When you consciously perform a task, you are less likely to rush, make mistakes, or forget details. You will find that you can be more efficient with your task and do it without feeling exhausted or tense. When you “work”, be there completely, with all your attention, all the time. Remember: life is not a to-do list. It is meant to be enjoyed!
Through self-observation, consciousness automatically flows into your life. The moment you realize you are not aware, you are aware! You have come out of the constant mental dialogue of the mind and are now an observer. Now you look at the mind, instead of being carried away by its current.
When you look at thoughts, you are aware. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as possible, especially each repetitive pattern of thinking. When listening, try to act as an impartial witness.
You will soon realize, “There is a voice, and behold, I am listening to it. I am not the mind.” The key is this: don’t believe your thoughts. Don’t take them so seriously. Look at them, look at them. In that way, conditioned and reactive thoughts and ways of living and thinking about you lose. You don’t have to play them anymore.
Time is an Illusion
Living in a culture that hates unemployment has made many of us forget how to stand still and do absolutely nothing. The idea of sitting and doing nothing can be so foreign to us that many feel uncomfortable, even wrong. But we don’t have to do it all the time. Don’t take time every day. Even if it’s only five minutes, you sit in those five minutes and don’t do … anything. Sit quietly in your favorite chair or in a sunny open space. If possible without cell phones, beeps, or other interference near you. Become immobile.
Express your full consciousness in the present and in your sensory perceptions. Everything that is for you is here and now.
You may be amazed at how beautiful and satisfying a “creature” is – how much carving five minutes of your day will bring you back to life.
A walk can allow you to spend time carefully without wasting extra time from the day. Whether you’re walking around your area, from the car to the store or the driveway to work, you can do it with a meditation exercise.
Before you even get up from your chair:
- Focus on the intention to walk consciously.
- Get up and allow yourself to be aware of the feeling of standing.
- Focus on your body.
- Stop, breathe consciously.
Start moving your feet. If possible, you can walk slowly and consciously to help you exercise. Notice how the floor feels under your feet, how your clothes flutter on your body. Pay attention to the details of the surroundings: the architecture of the building, the plants you pass by, and the birds that sing on the trees. Be present in your experience here and now. Try to be present at every step.
Come to Your Senses
The essence of mindfulness is the ability to let go of the mind’s noisy compulsive chatter and to touch deeply the stillness that lies underneath. To be mindful is to be in a state where you’re highly alert and not ‘lost’ in thinking. To access the state, you can use your senses. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, give your senses your fullest attention. You can turn any moment into a mindfulness practice by this method.
Whatever you sense, go into it entirely. Explore the world with your senses. Visually observe details of your environment, such as the curve or a tree branch or the arch of a doorway or the play of light in the room you are in. Be fully engrossed in the looking but without mental labeling of any kind. Look with ‘bare awareness’.
As you go about your day, be mindful of the feel of the sun on your skin or the wind in your hair when you leave the house. Be mindful of the softness of a chair, or the smoothness of a stone. Take a breath and put your focus on what scents you’re taking in.
To be fully engaged in sense perception like this draws attention into the moment and out of all that mental noise. It brings a sense of fresh aliveness and wonders into our day.
Allow your Mind to Wander
Primarily if you practice for even a few breaths or for a few minutes, practice kindness and patience with yourself when this happens and gently return awareness to the breath sensation.
- Notice any tendency to be hard on yourself or to feel frustrated or a failure. See this kind of judgment as just another kind of thinking, and gently return awareness to the breath.
- Embrace relaxation, primarily if you practice for even a few breaths or for a few moments. This relaxed feeling is an ally. It helps us to be more present, more mindful. Relaxation alone is not what mindfulness is about, however! It is about being present with awareness.
- Expect to notice more things, including more painful things. This is actually progress. You are not doing anything wrong! Quite the opposite, you are increasing mindfulness for all things. When you begin to notice the painful things, see if you can hold yourself with compassion and kindness, and continue to bring open-hearted awareness to the experience that is unfolding.
- Practice staying present. By not turning away from the painful things in our lives, we can learn to remain open to all the possibilities in each situation. This increases our chances of healing and transformation in meeting the pain we face. And it also gives us a way to be with those situations when there is nothing more we can do to “get away from the pain” but must find a way to be with it. We can discover that the quality of mindfulness is not destroyed or damaged by contact with the pain, that it can know pain as completely and fully as it knows any other experience.
- Be careful not to try too hard. Don’t try to make anything happen, or to achieve any special states or any special effects! Simply relax and pay as much attention as you can to just what is here now. Whatever form that takes. Allow yourself to experience life directly as it unfolds, paying careful and open-hearted attention.
Wake up Call
Sometimes we have urges, cravings, impulses—addictions even.
These can actually be transformed into a wonderful ‘wake up call’ into mindfulness.
The next time you feel an urge, know that you don’t have to fight it; you don’t have to follow or give into it either. You can simply be there to observe it with mindful awareness.
This technique is sometimes referred to as urge surfing.
With urge surfing, we bring awareness into the urge itself—how it feels in the body, in the moment. We simply acknowledge we are having an urge and we allow it to be there without getting caught up in the thoughts about it. In this way we ride it out instead of pushing the urge away or following it.
If a sensation of craving comes to you or you notice yourself having impulsive thoughts – see if you can firstly simply acknowledge their presence “oh I’m feeling a craving for chocolate”. Observe it directly, as an impartial witness.
Notice if the craving has a physical sensation in the body. Note if you are having ‘wanting’ thoughts. See them for what they are – just thoughts. Aim to remain ‘present’ for the duration of the wave which usually only lasts a maximum of 30 minutes.
Each time you successfully surf an urge, you make it easier to do so next time. Urge surfing can, with practice, liberate you from addictive and compulsive behaviors while bringing the benefits of mindfulness into your life even more.
I hope these tips will help you bring more awareness and mindfulness into your life,