Let’s find out all about mindfulness: what it is, what are the exercises that can be practiced and the benefits of this particular activity.
Mindfulness is a practice aimed at placing the right attention in a particular way in the present, in an intentional and never judgmental way. Are you confused already? Don’t worry ! In this article we will delve into the concept comprehensively and discover everything there is to know, from exercises to benefits for our mind. Let’s start!
What is mindfulness meditation
The concepts that underlie this practice are two: awareness and concentration. The first is none other than the ability to act in an intentional world , while concentration is that particular effort aimed at focusing on an object in a pure way, without any interference from our past memory or our future projections .
By combining the practice of these two concepts , it is already easier to understand what mindfulness is, a technique aimed at improving our attention and doing it in a conscious and wise way, with the aim of knowing the world and its forms without any interference. and thus live a life without any source of stress.
Think you can live a life perfectly anchored in the present, fully aware of what you have around you, without any future anxiety and far from regrets and remorse of the past. Here the mind no longer suffers from the frustration of what could be and the nostalgia for what it was, but concentrates only in the present moment , opening up to reality and coming into contact with its forms.
How mindfulness is practiced
If everything is clear up to now, a fundamental question remains: what does this discipline consist of in practice? So let’s begin to delve into what are the main practices and exercises of mindfulness.
First of all, mindfulness is based on meditation, and is therefore a constant training to pursue a mental state away from anxiety and stress and close to happiness and fulfillment . The exercises are aimed at focusing our attention on the present, and the protagonist is therefore our mind, which is supported by our body, our senses, our emotions and the objects of the mind.
All of these agents must work together and help the mind live in the present without being overloaded with thoughts , frustrations, anxieties and more.
Mindfulness: exercises and practices
Now we are ready to go into even more detail and understand how to put what we have just learned into practice. There are several techniques that we can put into practice during our daily life, and which concern some of the actions that we do every day unconsciously: eating, breathing, walking and even answering the phone .
The point is right here, in awareness, one of the key words from which we started. Can carrying out an action in a concentrated and conscious way help our mind to drive away anxiety and stress? The answer is yes: let’s see when and how.
– During meals
We often eat in a hurry , regardless of what we are doing, as if it were something normal and automatic. Many other times, however, we are distracted by the surrounding environment (friends, colleagues, television, etc.). But what if we tried to eat with more awareness and concentration, chewing food and savoring its flavors, smells, aromas and textures? This is a first exercise to get used to living the present with greater awareness .
– When we breathe
Taking good breaths can be really relaxing . We can practice them during breaks during our day or before going to sleep. It only takes a few seconds and very little concentration !
– When we listen to someone (or ourselves)
It often happens that we pretend to listen to someone , or that we listen to him in the middle, distracted by something or wanting to say what we have in mind, tell him what we have inside, give him advice. Here too, if on the contrary we focus on the present and not on the past, stopping to really listen to that person, we will be able to really live the present and focus on what is happening, communicating optimally without anxiety to speak or external distractions.
And the same thing goes for when we listen to ourselves in a moment when we are alone, moments in which we should try to really focus on our feelings and emotions and try to understand them at the root. You will be surprised how naturally your problems resolve themselves, without stress or unnecessary agitation.
– When we walk
We walk every day, often to move from point A to point B, and while we do we are pervaded by thoughts or distracted by the phone or who knows what else. Focusing on where we are going, how we are walking (we are in a hurry, we are taking a relaxing walk ), but above all taking the time to look around us, can be an excellent practice, as well as a soothing moment.
– During a break
How many times do you really take a break from the hustle and bustle of the world? And by break, we mean a real break , away from work, passions, smartphones and television. Take a few moments to think about what is around you, about yourself, about your desires. Focus on the here and now , and take a mindful moment for yourself.
– When you are lost in thought
Do you happen to be enchanted? Return to reality using the five senses one at a time, exploring them as you almost did not know it: observe what surrounds you, listen to the surrounding noises , touch what you have nearby and so on.
– When the phone rings
That’s right. It often happens that we pick up the phone after hearing it ring or after hearing a vibration of a notification. Try taking a deep breath before picking up the phone, concentrating on that precise moment, and only then answer.
Mindfulness: books to learn everything
Even more could be said about this incredible meditative practice, characterized by many exercises and countless interesting facets. Did you know it can help you quit smoking too ? If you want to know more, here is a selection of some books that can accompany you on your journey :
Also visit the official website mindfulnessitalia.it