Get past the word’s new-age baggage and embrace the immediate benefits “being present”…presents.
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The very concept of being “in the moment” is difficult to adopt in today’s chaotic world. Anxiety is expected at a time like this but, when not kept in check, can lead to other problems.
“Mindfulness is the art of holding space for an experience,” claims curator of soul-centered online courses and host of the “Live Your Light Show” podcast, Emily K Thomas, “to be fully present in one moment.”
Meditate on her 4 quick tips regarding the good that comes from acknowledging our here and now.
If you find it difficult to still your thoughts consider setting a limited timeframe. Begin with a single minute and then gradually increase your practice as you feel comfortable. The idea here is—much like pull-ups for the biceps—the more you quiet your brain, the more your meditative minutes will increase.
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Set an intention
Mindfulness is less “emptying your head” and more “focusing on something specific while experiencing that moment fully”. It can be as simple as watching the rise and fall of your breath. Experience each exhale and inhale as a miraculous function of life. Consider how much work your body does for you without your acknowledgment. Focus on appreciating your lungs’ wondrous capabilities!
An easy-to-practice task is to immerse yourself into truly tasting food. Savor every detail of your meal. How does it feel when the entree grazes your lips? What textures do you experience when you bite into it? What sounds? What flavors? What smells? How do you feel as you enjoy this sustenance?
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A great way to fill both your quota for fresh air, while practicing mindfulness, is to take it outdoors. Go for a stroll near your home. What sounds do you hear? What colors do you see? How does the wind feel against your face? Pretend as if you have to prepare a report on the experience of walking around your block. What would you note for someone who had never seen this neighborhood? How would you describe the sun to someone who had never experienced light?
Sometimes the practice of being present can feel daunting but think of mindfulness as a way to hold attention on a very specific idea or feeling. Many of us experience this every day without realizing it. When a song we love comes on the radio, when we hear the voice of someone we love, when we take that first sip of our morning coffee, etc. (You’re halfway there every time your brain appreciates the so-called mundane.)
So ask yourself, “What can direct your focus into fully today to practice being more mindful?”