Nowadays, it’s difficult to “turn off”. The constant allure of technology in phones, computers, tablets, and televisions tempts us to be constantly connected. Even when we aren’t looking at a screen, turning our minds off to relax in the moment is something that nearly everyone has trouble with.
We’ve talked previously about the breathing techniques that help get your body into a parasympathetic state. If we were to take this one step further, we could start to branch into actively practicing meditation and mindfulness.
Mindfulness doesn’t always equate to meditation, but all meditation requires mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of what is going on around us and how we are feeling without falling into a reactive response.
Just like anything else, mindfulness gets easier with practice. The ultimate goal is to be able to observe the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical responses to stimuli. When you can focus on living completely in the present moment, you can become aware of your breath, your heartbeat, and the sounds around you. You can observe how you are feeling, and if your mind is quiet or busy. The more you can practice the art of being mindful, the easier it is for your brain to recognize those moments.
One exercise to practice mindfulness is to set an alarm for two to three times a day. When the alarm goes off, take a minute or two to relax. Focus on your breathing, and take in the world around you. Where are you seated? What do you hear around you? How do you feel in the present moment?
Practicing mindfulness daily will help you to tap into the inner workings of your self. If you want some advice on where to begin, please get in touch!