People often ask me how easy it is to be mindful in a busy world?
Our thoughts are like a river. When we’re thinking about what we’d like to do or what we’d like to have the river is calm, but when we’re having negative thoughts worrying about something we have to do or dwelling on something we did or didn’t do, the current becomes more turbulent.
Mindful people are those who can easily pause in the present moment. They can step back and stand on the riverbank, watching their current of thoughts flow by and not get swept away by their content.
Meditation classes are a great way to develop mindfulness, but the practice seems difficult in today’s busy world of constant stimulation.
Some people wrongly think the goal of meditation is to empty the mind. It’s not about clearing the mind, it’s about focusing on one thing at a time. When our mind wanders, the meditation isn’t a failure.
Our mind is like an untrained puppy, out of control. Catching it and putting it back to the object of focus is the key to mindfulness.
Recent research shows that as little as 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation every day for a month produces detectable, positive changes in the brain, a reduction in stress and an enhanced sense of well-being.
You can get these benefits from introducing these 6 mini-mindfulness sessions into your daily life:
While walking the dog, hiking in nature, or simply walking to work, focus your attention on one sense at a time. Start with sounds – birdsong, insects, the traffic. Next what you feel – the ground beneath your feet, the breeze on your face, then what you can see – the colours, shapes and size. When the mind wanders, catch it and bring it back to the sense you are using and thing you are focusing on.
Breathing is one of the easiest ways to be mindful because it’s always with us and exists in the present moment. You can’t listen to yesterday’s breath or breathe tomorrow’s air. Counting your breaths is a brilliant way to connect with the present moment
While stopped at traffic lights, or in a traffic jam, turn off your radio and focus on counting your breaths. When your mind wanders, go back to counting your breath.
If you run or bike, leave your headphones at home and focus on the experience.
As you eat or drink, focus on the various flavours, textures, and sensations of the food or drink. Hold it in your mouth longer than usual and use your tongue and mouth to explore it before swallowing. Drinking a cup of tea or enjoying a piece of fruit, or chocolate is an easy way to start practicing. Savour what you have in the moment
While standing in line at an airport or at the supermarket observe your breath or surroundings. Use the time to do some inner observations. For example, are your muscles tense? Are you hot or cold? How do your feet feel?
Notice the people around you. It is important that when you “people watch” you resist the urge to judge them, just observe and notice.
5. Daily Activity.
You can also incorporate mindfulness meditation into daily activities like washing your hands, folding laundry, taking a shower, washing dishes, or brushing your teeth. Simply pay attention to the process and when you find your mind rushing impatiently to the next thing, just bring your attention back to the present moment and whatever you are doing.
6. Join my 7 Day Natural Mindfulness Course.
This FREE 7 Day Natural Mindfulness programme is an opportunity to make a commitment to yourself to walk mindfully in nature for 7 days with the aim of reconnecting to your true nature.
These mini-mindfulness sessions when done regularly will help you focus on the experience and stop your mind from wandering.
Focusing on what’s happening now pulls us out of our river of thoughts. The benefit of mindful meditation is that when something in the real world comes up, we’re much better at catching our thoughts instead of getting swept into the current.
…enjoy the journey!
Ian Banyard is a Nature Connection Guide and author of Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection. He is passionate about exploring nature and empowering people. Ian combines a wealth of knowledge and experience from his personal and corporate life with intuitive and instinctive insights from his own inner journey, to guide others.
Ian lives in Gloucestershire, UK where he guides Natural Mindfulness Walks and provides coaching, courses, gatherings and retreats, for others who want to deepen their connection with nature and their true nature.
To attend a Natural Mindfulness Walk or event, visit Natural Mindfulness Walks
Want to experience Natural Mindfulness for yourself?
Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection, is AVAILABLE NOW.
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