Updated: Aug 18, 2021
By Ethan Nelson
Mindfulness and Awareness
What does it mean to be #mindful? When do we have the time to live mindfully in our busy lives? Is it the same as meditation? Mindfulness can almost directly translate to #awareness. Awareness of the sounds, physical sensations, emotions and feelings of the here and the now.
Mindfulness is truly the means to living an amazing life. It involves ridding yourself of distractions, thoughts, emotions. We can’t change the past and it does us no good to worry about the future. Acting in the present moment without emotions is the only path to #contentment and #happiness in life.
Being mindful doesn’t mean meditating everyday. Mindfulness is simply a means of becoming aware, no matter what you’re doing and where you are. It could mean when you’re in your class and completely focused on what the professor is talking about or walking between classes, paying attention to the sounds around you and feeling the pressure of your feet against the ground.
Mindfulness is a way to calm down our chaotic minds. We’re in an age of mass overstimulation which creates stress, #depression and much more unneeded consequences. Modern society is telling us to consume, consume, consume. At what time will we ever be happy with our lives? Content with the stuff that we have and the lives that we’re living. Mindfulness is a way out of the trap. A means to unhook from stimulation, such as not looking down at your phone every second of your life.
Ways in which Mindfulness can help
People often say that their lives are filled with #stress, #anxiety, #fear, #anger etc. This might be true, but it isn’t their life that’s the problem, it’s their mind. Your mind can handle a situation in a number of different ways. No matter what situation you’re in, time still passes one second at a time. For Example, If something pops up into your schedule that is urgent and you still don’t have your homework done you can react in a few different ways.
Without mindfulness you can be worried that you won’t get your homework done and create unnecessary anxiety worrying about things that you aren’t doing in the present moment.
On the other hand, you can act mindfully and complete each task in the present moment. It’s just you and the task at hand, not worrying about what to do next, but simply doing the best you can with each task.
Mindfulness then becomes a means to solving any one of life’s many problems. It becomes just you and the present moment. Whatever needs to be done now is what gets your attention.
When you start living in the present moment many benefits will start appearing. You’ll become completely satisfied with the present moment, not needing stimulation from food, Television, Social Media etc.
Ways to be present
1. Mindful #Breathing
The first step to a more mindful life is mindful breathing. Get in touch with the breath and notice how the stomach rises and falls with each in and out breath. Become completely aware of the current breath from the moment it arises until it dissipates. How long did you breathe in and out for? Become aware of this.
So whenever you find yourself lost in thought, simply bring your attention back to the breath.
2. Awareness of the Body
Becoming aware of the breath is a great precursor to this exercise. Once you have become aware of your breath, start to notice how your body is feeling. Do you feel angry, happy, excited, stressed, or is there some sort of feeling bothering you? Do you feel an itch or a lower back pain?
Whatever it is, simply notice it and accept it. Don’t try to do anything about it, simply realize that it’s there and become aware of how it feels. Feel the sensations of stress, anger etc. coursing through your body and accept them. The only way to control your emotions is to first realize what they feel like and accept them.
3. Awareness of the Situation
Instead of always being lost in thought and distracted, notice what is happening in the current situation. Are you sitting in a chair listening to a lecture about Physics or are you walking to your next class? Are you talking with friends? Whatever you’re doing simply become aware that you’re doing it.
If the professor is lecturing listen to what he’s saying, aware that you’re listening to him at the present #moment. In this manner, mindfulness creates concentration. You can concentrate on the task at hand if you simply become aware that you’re performing that task and not lost in thought or distracted with one of the million of things that life throws at you. Mindfulness, I believe, is going mainstream. More and more people are becoming interested and seeking the benefits that mindfulness has to offer. If you would like to learn more about it you can visit my website at http://www.mindfulyoungman.com/ where I have written numerous articles relating to mindfulness, meditation, happiness, and more.