How to Practice Mindfulness

Updated: Mar 31


September 15th, 2021



David Peachment













 

How to Practice Mindfulness


We can sometimes get super overwhelmed in our lives. Work, family, life, and lots of people are all vying for your attention every day. It can be hard to sit for a minute and think. Kids need to go to practice, the boss needs the report done by the end of the week, and our whole day can feel like constant stress and lost time slipping through our fingers. With our world zooming by at 100 miles an hour, our heads can swim with all of the stimulation that enters our brains. What’s needed is a slowdown of our senses and to put aside the time to take in and appreciate what is around us. We need a way to calm the racing mind and ground ourselves back to the present. This is where mindfulness comes in. You’ve probably heard the term a lot, but for those of you who haven’t, I’ll provide a brief explanation.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is essentially about bringing awareness to yourself and your surroundings in this moment of time. It’s not about planning for the future or reflecting on the past. The purpose is to live and breathe in the present and focus purely on what’s around you. Deliberately paying close attention to what you are experiencing without judgement is basically what mindfulness boils down to. When we take a walk outside, our minds may constantly be interrupted by thoughts about work and life that can disrupt our peace. Intrusive thoughts and feelings can highjack our relaxation. Mindfulness seeks to remedy this by simply focusing on what is happening right at the moment. So just how is it done?

How to Do It

There are hundreds if not thousands of mindfulness techniques out in the world. With so many varied ways to practice mindfulness, it can be a bit daunting to start. For this reason, I will simply describe one method I like to use that is super easy to do and can be done absolutely anywhere. I’ve seen many different names for it, but I’ll refer to it here as Life Awareness. It is best done sitting down. The object of this exercise is to pick an aspect of the life and world around you and focus on it. The aspect could be a particular leaf, a stone, a piece of furniture, or an animal you see. Think about how it came into existence, who or what was involved in its creation, and all of the intricate details. Try to truly look at it as if you’ve never seen it before. For example, if you are looking at a wooden candlestick, analyze each and every line and cut in the wood. Observe its shape and think about the process that must have gone into making it. Think of the people that crafted it. Make a note of anything you’ve never noticed before (there will probably be some aspects). And finally, appreciate the significance and purpose that it fulfills.

This practice will make you feel very grounded in reality and fully appreciate even the small things around us. By focusing in on a single element in our surroundings, it’s possible to decrease stress and live in the present.