Time stops for no one. Stress doesn’t relieve itself. The hustle never ends.
It’s time to take a moment to breathe, to release the tensions, to overcome the emotions and to enter the world of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. We must pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them, allowing ourselves to stay minded to the present, without rehashing the past or worrying about the future.
The origins of mindfulness root back to ancient Buddha meditation, however a secular form of this practice was introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 and nowadays is common practice in both traditional psychology, which aims to help alleviate conditions such as depression or anxiety, and modern positive psychology, which advocates scientific ways to raise levels of long-term satisfaction and well-being. This practice is becoming so mainstream, that we can see it being implemented in major corporations such as Google, Intel, General Mills and Goldman Sachs. Also, we can see that mindfulness has been adopted by extremely prominent figures, including Steve Jobs, Phil Jackson, Angelina Jolie and LeBron James.
Ok, so now we understand what it is and who already practices it, but how can we practice mindfulness? Here are 3 easy steps that will get you started:
This exercise is very simple yet very effective. All you have to do is identify your breathing. When you breathe in, you know that this is your in-breath. When you breathe out, you are mindful that this is your out-breath.
The second exercise is to concentrate on your breathing. If your in-breath lasts three seconds, then your mindfulness also lasts three seconds. Breathing in, follow your in-breath all the way through. Breathing out, follow your out-breath all the way through. Therefore, mindfulness becomes uninterrupted, and the quality of your concentration is improved.
Awareness of Your Body
The third exercise is to become aware of your body. “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body.” The quality of your breathing will be improved by practicing mindful breathing. It results in peace and harmony in your breathing, and if you continue this practice, the peace and the harmony will eventually penetrate into your body, and you will begin to feel the benefits of mindfulness.
Obviously, these are just a few basic steps to get you on your way and there is much more to the mindful way of life, but it’s important to start somewhere.
So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, stop for a second, enter your private moment and breathe.