The act of mindfulness can be briefly defined as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment.” Consistently practicing mindfulness techniques can reduce the impact of stress on the brain, improve sleep quality, attention and even increase a sense of emotional and physical well-being and you don’t have to be a Zen master to cultivate this awareness. According to experts, mindfulness practice does not mean that you try to act like a perfect person. There are many paths to access our inherent human wisdom and wake up to the essence of our own life.
If you’re looking for emotional and physical well-being, give one of these six simple mindfulness techniques a try.
Spread the magic of meditation music
Turn on the music and get mesmerized in the wavelength of soothing meditation music to take you high emotionally. In order to heal your negative aura or regaining positive energy, instrumental music is something that would benefit you in all terms. Listening to relaxing and soothing music would never block your mind, rather, it would give your thoughts a new level of understanding.
Hold to release tension
Tightly squeeze your hands into a fist, count to 20 and let go. Take all your awareness to the sensations occurring in your hands. Continue to bring your attention to these sensations for as long as you can. Repeat several times and notice how focused your mind becomes and how calm you begin to feel. This can be done anywhere and anytime, so don’t be afraid, all you need is your mind and your hands to release unwanted thoughts that are blocking your mind unnecessarily.
Focus on an object
Pick any object in your line of sight on which to focus your attention. Without judgment, sit and watch the object with curiosity. The easiest things to watch are animals, children, waves, trees, and clouds. If you are not in nature, watching the flame of a candle can be a quick, hypnotic way to get lost in the present moment. Instead of using your mind to label, judge and categorize the object, simply bring your attention to it. Observe the object with a heightened curiosity of what it might do next.
Sense of smell
Smell something strong like coffee beans, lavender or garlic and pay attention to what it does to your nose. Where do you feel it? Does it bring up a memory? An emotion? This will help your mind focus intently on the scent. Taiwanese researchers found that using aromatherapy decreased feelings of stress in the body. Choose a scent that is pleasant: You don’t want the scent of rotten eggs to throw you into a bad mood!
Find a place where you can be alone and walk in nature. If you choose, you can listen to soft, meditative music through your headphones. Begin walking slowly, looking down at your feet to watch each step that is taken. Bring all of your attention to your footsteps. How do they feel with each step? Can you feel the difference in surfaces that you’re stepping on? Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” You will be absolutely amazed what the simple act of walking can do for your present-moment awareness. A sense of calm contentment will come over you as you begin to become even more aware of what the present moment has to offer you.
Finally, find your own zen
Now that you’ve done a few of these prescribed techniques, branch out and seek unique ways to bring yourself into this mindful state. According to the experts, we are all different in some ways. We have different dispositions, conditioning, and chemistry. We don’t all need the same ‘medicine’. There are many paths available; it takes experimentation and courage. Take an active role in controlling the incessant chatter that runs through the stream of your consciousness. By doing so, you will bring peace to your life, so share your experience with us!