Mindfulness Practice: The Who, What, When, Where, and Why
Every day is packed full of activities and distractions. It makes it easy to feel like your mind is full instead of being mindful. Now is the time to incorporate mindfulness practice into your daily life.
The Basics of Mindfulness
Mindfulness has become a hot topic, but there is still some confusion about it. Let’s discuss the basics before we get into how you can make it part of your routine.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of what you are doing at any moment without being judgemental. It requires conscious attention while letting go of distractions.
Buddhist and Eastern communities were the first to practice mindfulness. It was later introduced to the Western world and combined with other therapeutic techniques like mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
Why Is Mindfulness Important?
Daily life is busy with work, household responsibilities, staying fit, and socialization. It creates stress which results in anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness allows you to overcome these mental health concerns because it draws attention to your mental state. It encourages you to slow down, clear your mind, and concentrate on your current thoughts. All of this allows you to regulate emotions better.
Who Should Practice Mindfulness?
Everyone can benefit from mindfulness practice. It’s suitable from childhood right into old age. So yes, that means you can benefit from mindfulness too.
Mindfulness is especially helpful for anyone who feels their emotions are out of control or who is feeling overwhelmed by their current situation.
When Should Mindfulness be Used?
Mindfulness can be practiced any day, any time. In fact, many people use mindfulness techniques throughout their day, incorporating it into every part of what they do. This can seem like a lofty goal for a beginner, but it does help to make a little bit of time for it each day.
Where is Mindfulness Practiced?
You can practice mindfulness at home, at work, inside, outside, or even in your car. Anywhere you go is suitable for mindfulness practice; all you need is yourself and your mind.
Learn More About Your Mind
The more you know about the mind, the more you can use it effectively. Mindfulness is just one aspect of this—there is still much more to learn.
Join us at the Brain-A-Thon to find out how your brain works and how you can better leverage its abilities. Experience mindfulness and meditation in action, take control of your life, and steer it in a favorable direction!
Preparing for Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation is something that you might incorporate into your day already. If so, you can take it a step further by joining the two concepts so that you are practicing mindfulness meditation.
First, you need to prepare yourself mentally for the process.
Make It Easy
It’s best to start small with your mindfulness practice. There’s no need to jump in and try and practice it the entire day. Even a few minutes every day is sufficient to help you reset your mind and have a calming effect on your nervous system.
You don’t need to commit to a time period either. Instead, commit to being mindful for a specific activity. For example, observe the unique details of a plant or listen to the sound of a bird chirping.
Accept that you will get distracted during your mindfulness practice but realize that it’s not a reason to give up. Your mind may wander or something else could get your attention. When this happens, acknowledge the distraction, then turn your focus back to your mindful activity.
It’s normal to start judging yourself when you become distracted. You might even experience intrusive or negative thoughts. Being able to step away from these judgments is crucial for mindfulness.
As soon as you realize you are judging yourself, take a deep breath, and name the thought or judgment. Observing thoughts in this way allows you to let go of negativity so that you can continue your journey.
Quick Mindfulness Exercises
Are you ready to be more mindful?
Great! Here are a few exercises you can try to help guide your mindfulness practice.
STOP for a Moment
The STOP technique is the ideal mindfulness exercise if you don’t have much time.
Follow these steps:
- Stop doing whatever you are busy with.
- Take several deep breaths.
- Observe what’s happening in your body—your thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
- Proceed with what you were busy with before.
This simple exercise allows you to break from what you are doing and become more aware of your thoughts and how your body feels. It requires conscious effort to slow down and be mindful.
Mindfulness can be helpful in maintaining motivation when you feel negative or uninspired. Mindful exercises allow you to center yourself and reignite motivation.
The following Innercise™ can help you to refocus and get ready for the task at hand.
Concentrating on your breathing is one of the easiest ways to boost mindfulness. Breathing is essential to keep you alive, but it also plays a big role in awareness.
Do this breathing exercise for mindfulness, awareness, and to clear your head:
- Sit or lie down somewhere comfortable.
- Set a timer for one minute. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Concentrate on how you feel emotionally and physically. Identify any sensations and thoughts.
- Reset the timer. This time, focus on your breathing specifically. Feel your chest and abdomen expand as you inhale. Experience your body deflating as you exhale.
- Reset the timer. Concentrate on how breathing uses your entire body. Shift your focus from one body part to the next as you breathe and feel the air circulating through you.
Stimulate Your Mind
Mindfulness practice and meditation require active use of your brain. Exploring the different ways you can use your mind is necessary if you want it to function optimally.
Learning about the brain can be intimidating which is why we created training that anyone can understand. Sign up now for NeuroGym’s live Brain-A-Thon so you can have this knowledge at your fingertips!
Daily Mindfulness Practice
Every time you are mindful, you stimulate your brain, which is why you should incorporate mindfulness in as many ways as possible. It doesn’t have to be difficult; even small acts of mindfulness will do.
Meals are often eaten in front of the TV or while using digital devices. Snacks and coffee are consumed while traveling from home to work or school. Eating in a rush or while multitasking means you aren’t being mindful.
When you practice mindful eating, you take the time to enjoy your food. You get a chance to smell, feel, and taste the food. It makes it possible to experience different flavors and textures, and you might realize you like something more than you thought.
Mundane tasks like doing laundry, sweeping, or grocery shopping are done without a second thought, but they are ideal for mindfulness. Take note of what you are doing instead of working on autopilot.
Smell the laundry detergent while doing laundry, listen to the sound of the broom as you sweep, and stick to only buying the items on your shopping list. Paying attention to what you are doing can stimulate your mind.
Appreciating the Little Things
Mindfulness is all about focusing on the task at hand and taking note of the little things in life. Whenever you feel your mind wandering or your motivation waning, spend a few minutes mindfully.
Use your senses to identify something you can smell, taste, feel, hear, or see. This is an activity you can do anywhere, anytime. As you draw attention to your surroundings, you also incorporate your body and brain, which intensifies mindfulness.
Using Innercise™ for Meditation
Mindfulness, meditation, and mental exercises have a shared goal: to stimulate the brain.
When this happens, your brain functions better. It copes well with daily stress, strengthens neural connections, and provides clarity. You learn to be compassionate and kind to yourself even when things aren’t going right.
Boost Your Brain
The more mindful you are, the more it becomes a habit. Besides daily mindfulness in small tasks, you also want to spend quality time on mindful activities or meditation.
Innercise™ is one of the best ways to meditate mindfully because it requires your undivided attention. It also focuses on switching off negative emotions, visualizing your success, and calming yourself intentionally.
Schedule a few minutes in the morning, evening, or during your lunch break to do Innercise™ like Take 6: Calm the Circuits, or Awareness, Intention, Action (AiA). The great thing is that our Innercise™ activities tell you exactly what to do, and some are guided meditations so they are suitable for everyone, even beginners.
Every time you are mindful, meditate, or do Innercises™, you take control of your mind and your future. It boosts your brain power and that has a domino effect in other areas of your life.
Unlock Your Hidden Mental Power
It’s the small things you do that have the greatest impact on your abilities. Mindfulness is one of those small things and practicing it frequently will add up to huge benefits.
This is just one part of the puzzle because there are many other ways to improve your mind, but it all starts with understanding how your brain works.
Our Brain-A-Thon event is the place to get all that information. Presented by top brain experts, this one-day experience teaches you to harness your mental power through mental stimulation like Innercise™ and meditation.
Reserve your free seat today and find out how to change your life!