Mindfulness: Exercises to help you get started

What is Mindfulness?

While you’re reading this post, you may or may not be paying full attention. 

If your mind’s somewhere else, you might miss a thing or two, so keep your full attention to what this post will tell you. If you heed my advice, then congratulations! You’re being mindful. But wait, what does it mean to be mindful? 

To be mindful is to be aware. 

Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a state of heightened complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.

Keep in mind that mindfulness is a moment-to-moment basis, it extends beyond one task. It’s a way of living that empowers you to be proactive. 

Through practice, you can become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the present moment. Grounding yourself in the Now is crucial in becoming mindful, the present is the only thing you have control over.

4 Foundations of Mindfulness

The Satipatthana Sutta, the Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, lays down the four foundations of mindfulness according to the Buddha. 

This systematic guide common to Buddhist traditions will help you achieve mindfulness.

  1. Mindfulness of The Body

So how does one remain focused on the body? 

Well, pay attention to what you’re doing at the moment; ground yourself in the Now. Mindfulness of the body is full awareness of the experience of being in a body — to recognize the body as an experience of a collection of parts. 

To be mindful of the body, you must:

  • Discern even involuntary body actions such as breathing
  • Know what you are doing at the moment
  • Remain focus on the phenomenon of origination
  • Acknowledge the impermanence of your body
  • Discern which is beneficial and non-beneficial
  1. Mindfulness of Feelings

What about your feelings? 

How do you become mindful of sensations and emotions? 

Much like with the body, try to discern these things: 

  • Is the feeling pleasant, unpleasant, or neither?
  • Is the feeling of the flesh or not?
  • What is causing this feeling?
  1. Mindfulness of The Mind

With regards to your mind, just be aware of how you conceive thoughts and your state of mind. 

  • Discern whether your mind is in a good state or not.
  • Recognize the emotions that may be influencing your thinking.
  • Remember that your mind exists and it is also impermanent much like your body
  1. Mindfulness of Dhammas

Mindfulness of dhammas is about paying attention to whatever mental qualities and phenomena (dhammas) emerge moment by moment. 

  • 5 Mental Hindrances: sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse, and skeptical doubt
  • 5 Aggregates of Clinging): the material side of existence (material) and the mental side of existence (feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness)
  • Āyatana
  • 7 Factors of Enlightenment
  • 4 Noble Truths
  • Noble Eightfold Path

Mindfulness versus Meditation

Meditation usually refers to a practice of formal, seated meditation. 

Meditation is an intentional practice, where you use focus to increase concentration, calmness consciousness, and emotional balance.

Sitting meditation brings all your awareness and consciously guides the mind to a single focal point. Typically, you spend a focused amount of time in meditation — anywhere from a minute to an hour or more — tuned inward.

On the other hand, mindfulness is the simple act of paying attention and being present in everything you do.

You can practice mindfulness anytime, anywhere, and with anyone by being fully engaged in the present moment.

When you’re mindful, you are actively involved with all of your senses in the present moment. 

Calmly bringing yourself back to the conversation or task at hand, instead of allowing your mind to wander.

7 Fun Ways to Practice Mindfulness

I get it! You have a demanding job, a busy family life, or a lot on your plate.

It’s hard enough to find the time to eat breakfast, let alone develop a formal mindfulness practice (and actually stick to it!).

  1. Take a mindful shower – Paying attention to the temperature of the water and the sensation of it falling on to your skin.
  2. Use a scented product – Such as essential oils, perfume, etc. Tune in to your sense of smell for a few seconds.
  3.  Do breathing practice
  4. Give a big hug to someone you love, and immerse yourself at the moment
  5. Go for a mindful walk – Notice as many different colors as you can find.
  6. Listen to a song – Try to pick out the different instruments, hear the rise and falls, and see how the music makes you feel.
  7. Connect with someone on social media – Take a break from the mindless scrolling and connect with someone by leaving a thoughtful comment or sending a genuine message.

7 Ways Mindfulness Support Overall Wellbeing

Increasing the capacity for mindfulness supports a multitude of attitudes that contribute to a life of satisfaction.

Being mindful supports overall well-being in the following ways:

  1. Decrease Anxiety and Depression
  2. Improve Focus and Concentration
  3. Decrease Impulsivity
  4. Makes it easier to enjoy the pleasures of life as they occur
  5. Helps you get fully engaged in your activities
  6. Can easily socialize and make friends
  7. Better self-esteem

7 Mindfulness Exercises to Practice Today

Interested in practicing mindfulness but don’t have much time to do so? Here are ways to exercise mindfulness in less than a minute.

  1. Mindful Eating 
  2. Mindful Movement
  3. Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds
  4. Long hugs 
  5. Deep breathing exercises
  6. Mindful meditation
  7. Mindful affirmations

How Lotus Healing and Wellness Can Help You Be Mindful

Here at Lotus Healing For You, we can help our clients be more mindful in everything that they do. 

What they can do to heal in a holistic way and be the best version of yourself.

I have an in-depth working knowledge of how to practice mindfulness and more tips to share with my clients.

Reach out if you think you may have some concerns about your mind and body that you would like to address with us! 

Remember, our discovery sessions are always free of charge!

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