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Mindfulness as a Daily Practice

Living Well

In the midst of our fast-paced and often hectic lives in the modern world, finding moments of peace and presence can feel like a luxury or an indulgence. In truth it is an absolute necessity, in order to lead more peaceful and balanced lives in alignment with our best selves.

The practice of Mindfulness offers a simple yet powerful way to cultivate a greater sense of calm, clarity, and well-being in our daily lives and it is available to anyone and everyone. By making Mindfulness a daily practice, we can tap into a deeper sense of awareness and connection with ourselves and the world around us. All it takes a moment or two – to sit with yourself, your breath or even taking 20 seconds to appreciate the rustle of leaves in the wind to tap into this ancient and grounding practice.

What is Mindfulness?

At its core, Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. It is a non-judgemental space where one is fully engaged in whatever one is doing, whether it’s eating, walking, working, or simply breathing.

Wikipedia defines mindfulness as “the cognitive skill, usually developed through meditation, of sustaining the meta-attention of the contents of one’s own mind in the present moment.”

John Kabat-Zinn, a modern-day proponent of Mindfulness defines it as “an awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.”

While there is no universal definition of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Buddhist Monk attributed with having brought this concept to the West often describes it as “Being aware of what is happening inside and around you in the present moment. Mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. You breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind back to your body, and you are there.”

In essence, Mindfulness is being fully present. When we live in the moment fully, it is less likely that we will be overwhelmed by worries of the future or regrets of the past. This process brings much calm and clarity into our constantly running minds. Mindfulness is a basic human ability and may be practiced by anyone. However, a regular Mindfulness practice enhances this innate ability, making it more accessible. Whether a consistent practice of focusing on your senses or your breath, some research has found that a steady dose of Mindfulness over a certain amount of time can physically change brain structures long term, offering profound benefits.  Cultivating this daily practice offers a transformative journey toward greater awareness and well-being.

The Benefits of Daily Mindfulness Practice

1. Reduced Stress:

Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress levels by promoting relaxation and calming the nervous system. By cultivating a greater sense of presence, we can learn to respond to life’s challenges with greater clarity and equanimity.

2. Improved Focus and Concentration:

When we fully focus on the present, we are not distracted by thoughts or worries about the past or the future and this bring a lot of clarity to our thoughts and actions. A regular Mindfulness practice can enhance our ability to focus and concentrate on tasks, leading to greater productivity and efficiency in our daily lives.

3. Enhanced Emotional Regulation:

Mindfulness helps us develop greater awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, allowing us to respond to them with compassion and understanding. It creates a space where we identify with ourselves beyond the frames of emotions and thoughts, so that you come to realise that you are not your emotions. This distinction can lead to improved emotional regulation and greater resilience in the face of adversity.

4. Greater Sense of Well-being:

By fostering a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us, Mindfulness can lead to greater feelings of contentment, gratitude, and overall well-being. This is a grounding practise that allows you to tap into the very essence of your inner peaceful state of being at any given time.

Tips for Cultivating a Daily Mindfulness Practice

1. Start Small:

Begin with just a few minutes of Mindfulness practice each day and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. This could be a quiet device-free 10 minute walk, a 10- 15minute meditation practise, or a few minutes a day spent in silence in reconnecting with your breath. Consistency and non-judgement are key.

2. Find What Works for You:

There are many different ways to practice Mindfulness, from meditation to mindful movement to simply paying attention to everyday activities.  Experiment with different techniques to find what resonates most with you.

3. Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Daily Routine:

Look for opportunities to practice Mindfulness throughout your day, whether it’s during your morning routine, while eating a meal, or before bed. Some ways to do this are to take a quiet moment to stay present with your morning coffee or taking 5 minutes of your day to mindfully brew and sip one of Symbeeosis’ many delicious and nurturing Organic Teas.

4. Be Kind to Yourself:

Be gentle with yourself at the beginning and right through your Mindfulness practice. Wandering thoughts are very much a part of the natural process. Rather than struggling, simply observe without judgement or reaction. Just sit and notice. Return to your breath repeatedly, with compassion, curiosity, and openness. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall off the wagon. It only matters how many times you come back.

In a world filled with distractions and demands, cultivating a daily Mindfulness practice confers you with the unique ability to tap into an inner sanctuary of peace and presence amidst the chaos. We hope this article will encourage you to seek out Mindfulness practices that you could inculcate into your daily lives, in order to harness this latent superpower that is waiting to be awoken in you.