Key Ways to Just Be when Practicing Mindfulness - dummies

Key Ways to Just Be when Practicing Mindfulness

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Are you a busy person? Do you have too much to do to have time to just be? One of the attractive things about mindfulness is that you don’t have a fixed amount of time that you’re supposed to practice for. Your daily practice can be meditation for one minute or one hour — it’s up to you.

The other great thing about mindfulness is that you can be mindful of your normal everyday routine and in that way build up your awareness and being mode. That takes no time at all; in fact, it can save time because you’re more focused on your activities.

Act consciously rather than habitually

Being aware of your choices and actions instead of unconsciously behaving out of habit is a hallmark of being mode. So, when you type, feel the contact between your fingers and the keyboard. When you drive, give it your full attention instead of allowing your mind to wander.

When drinking tea, do so mindfully. Feel the sensations as the cup comes towards your mouth and enjoy the refreshing taste of tea. Living in the present is trickier than it sounds but each time you try, you get a little bit better. Slowly but surely, you really start living in the moment.

Changing your habits is a great way to be mindful. Consider the following questions:

  • What habits could you change that take you out of the present moment?

  • What could you do today to encourage moment-to-moment living?

Reduce activities that hijack your attention

Computers, televisions and mobile phones can easily capture your attention. You can end up spending hours in an energy-draining state of mind, where you go from website to website without purpose or satisfaction. Control your use of these devices by switching off the Internet or phone for periods of time, or even getting rid of your television!

Think about your own daily routine and reduce focus-draining activities like watching lots of television or surfing the Internet.

List activities that draw you out of the present moment and list what you could do instead.

Find moments in your day to be mindful

Do mini mindfulness exercises whenever you have pockets of time. This habit can really help you to come back into the present moment and simply be.

Be creative and see when you can find a moment to practice every day, such as on the loo, in a boring meeting or waiting in a queue.

You’re always in the present moment. You’ve never been in any other moment. Every time your mind worries about the past, when does it do it? Only in the present moment. Every plan you’ve ever made for the future is only made in the present moment.

Right now, as you’re thinking about what you’re reading and comparing it to your past experience, you’re doing so in this moment, right now. Your plans for tomorrow can only be thought about now. Now is all you’re ever in. The question is how you can connect with bringing your mind into the here and now. That’s where the mindfulness exercises and attitudes come in.