Mindfulness has become a spiritual buzzword in recent times, but what is mindfulness? How do you practice it? And does it really work? We’re going to break the technique down for you and give you three easy mindfulness meditations you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Taken from an ancient Buddhist technique of meditation, mindfulness is the art of being conscious and present in the moment by choosing to focus on the immediate rather than worry about hypothetical scenarios that have not yet occurred. By practicing the mindful techniques we will illustrate below, you can easily draw your attention back to the present, eventually reaching a place of inner calm.
If you find yourself at home about to start some housework like the washing up, practice being mindful by noticing every aspect of your activity. Can you feel the warm water through the rubber of your washing up gloves? Can you smell the liquid soap? Take note of the actions you’re using to clean the dishes. Think of all the different muscles you are using to get this task done. By immersing yourself in the chore you stay physically and spiritually connected to the present, leaving you no time to get angry thinking about what may have happened at work that day, or feeling anxious about what the future may hold.
Next time you’re relaxing at home and want to turn on some music, try the art of mindful listening. This process involves letting go of any preconceptions you may have about an artist, genre or song and the memories it holds and instead focus on the journey of the sound. Allow yourself to get lost in the notes. Try to pick out the noise each instrument is making. Analyse the vocals and not the lyrics. Distinguish the tones and, if there’s more than one voice, pick them out like you did the instruments. This will allow you to hear music like you never have before as well as keep your headspace firmly in the now.
When you get home after a long day take a moment to just sit in your living room and look around. Pick out one object, be that a painting, a piece of furniture or a plant and study it intensely for a minute or two. Look at it as if you are viewing it for the first time. Discover its texture, colour, shape, size. Think about its purpose in the world and the energy that was used to create it. This is the art of mindful observation and is an easy way to re-centre yourself when you become overwhelmed with emotions. When you are too entangled with the bigger picture of life minimise things down to a single object and you will immediately feel more peaceful.
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