Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. (From Psychology Today)
Have you ever tried to practice mindfulness? It’s a difficult state to achieve. Being mindful seems very much like meditation to me, not that I’m an expert at that. I try, at various times throughout the day, to practice mindfulness, but I admit I haven’t been very successful at it.
I’ve noticed that while I’m showering, for example, my mind seems to be in a hundred different places. Often I forget if I’ve washed my hair, because I’m so not in the moment. I’ve decided the shower is a good place to attempt to be more mindful. To enjoy the feeling of my fingers massaging my scalp, the tingling of my skin when the water spray hits it, the fruity scent of the shower gel and shampoo. I’m capable of remaining in this pleasurable state for about fifteen seconds before my mind wanders off to an e-mail, a conversation, or a piece of writing I’m working on. But if what I’m reading about mindfulness is correct, I should get better at it with practice. Not just in the shower, but on a walk, in the car, at my desk.
I found this article in Psychology Today online. It explains what mindfulness is and why it is beneficial. And this piece, from the same source, suggests a practical method of dealing with the things you’re stressing over.
Sadly, in this technology-driven age we’re living in, the distractions are increasing daily. Practicing mindfulness should help avoid the constant temptation to check e-mail, tweet, or post on Facebook or Instagram. Because if you find peace and contentment in the moment, you won’t care so much about the distractions. And this may seem ironic—or even contradictory—but here’s a link to an article on the best mindfulness apps.
I would love to know about your experience with mindfulness. Have you tried it? Is it helping bring you happiness and peace of mind? And is it keeping you off of social media and more focused on what you’re doing in the present?
Let me know!
I’ve tried several times, on and off over the years, to establish a mindfulness meditation practice. Although I’m still no expert, my biggest jump in skill came when I took an online class from Palouse Mindfulness (it’s free!). The guided meditations combined with readings and daily practice were immensely helpful for starting to “feel” like I was really meditating. I’ve found that the practice is the only thing that lets me keep writing when my life gets crazy and stressful!
Hi Cheryl! Thanks for sharing this–maybe this is the way I can finally learn the right way to “practice.” I’m so glad you found my blog–just got it back up.
One of the many things I love about reading is that it really does force you to be in the moment. You can’t be thinking of a 100 different things and still actually read and comprehend….at least, I can’t. When I find my mind wandering while I’m reading, I decide it’s time for a change of book.
I like the focus that reading a book requires. Maybe that’s why I find reading so relaxing–I can’t multitask while reading!
I agree! Although sometimes I feel as though I have to work harder at concentrating now than I did before the distractions of social media. But once I’m captured by the story, I tune everything else out.