Unknowingly, we live in the past or future without realizing that our actual abode is in the present. The very moment that we are living in is our home.
Therefore, we can only live a meaningful life when we are aware that everything we need to be happy is here. The only way to recognize that is to embrace a state of mindfulness.
In my previous blog post, I shared inspirational mindfulness quotes that remind me that my home is NOW, this moment.
In today’s post, I’ll discuss five fundamental steps to help you achieve mindfulness in your routine life.
Step #1: Breathe mindfully
This step is simple, but it yields incredibly powerful results.
While we breathe involuntarily, we hardly realize how important our breath is. We also don’t realize how the breath is a tool that can anchor us to the present moment.
By recognizing your breath and using it to tune into your body, you can tether your awareness to the present.
To do that, here is what you need to do:
- Breathe in your natural manner, but this time, consciously inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth.
- As you breathe in and out, remind yourself of the importance of breathing consciously.
- Work on this breathing approach for about 1 to 2 minutes —at least at first.
- When you realize you have wandered off in thought, acknowledge that has occurred, and re-tether your awareness to your breath. As you do that, do not criticize yourself.
Work on this step several times throughout until it becomes habitual.
If you are taking a break from work, observe your breath mindfully for a minute. Tune into your breath if you are walking in the garden. And if you are reading a book, take a quick 30-second break to notice and be with your breath.
The more you do this, the easier it will be to breathe more consciously. This will help you start living in the moment.
Step #2: Practice Mindful Concentration
After a few days of breathing mindfully, start concentrating on it intensely. As you breathe in, watch how you breathe and observe the tiny sensations that build inside you.
Similarly, as you exhale, notice the flutters in your gut, your stomach churning, and the deflation of your abdomen.
The idea is to become one with your breath and to stay with it as you breathe. Gradually apply this concentration to everything else you do. Focus on the task, be it as small as picking up a pen to write, or fluffing a pillow.
Step #3-: Cultivate awareness of your body
Once you build the ability to concentrate on your breath, cultivate awareness of your body. Your body is your existence; to nurture a mindful state of mind, you need to know how it feels. Use your breath to tune into your body.
With every in and out-breath, pay attention to how and what you feel in different parts of the body. While breathing in and out, slowly chant, “I am aware of my body as I breathe in and out.” As you utter these words, notice each one to tune into your body and let it synchronize with your mind.
As you chant these suggestions, observe your body, as it establishes a unique mind-body connection. This will help you discover unique things about yourself. With time, you also become aware of how stress and anxiety affect your body. This knowledge will enable you to learn to let go of it, and build a healthier relationship with your body.
Step #4: Release tension
As you become aware of your body, notice any pain and tension in your body and let it go.
Your body has been bearing your weight and worries for long. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been able to get rid of the tensions because your mind has not let it do so. When you connect your mind and body, you learn to use mindfulness to let go of stress and pain in your body.
Sit, lie down, or even stand. Once you have chosen your posture, tune into any part of your body. Observe it keenly, point out the area where you feel pain, and then gently release it by taking deep breaths. How easily you can alleviate stress by inhaling and exhaling deeply will amaze you.
This practice creates a unique sense of inner peace that helps you dig deeper into who you truly are.
Step #5: Practice walking meditation
Lastly, use the realizations you have gained so far and the practices you have engaged in to start walking mindfully.
When you exercise mindful breathing, you allow yourself a moment of conscious observance of your inhalation and exhalation. This is an effortless and mesmerizing experience in itself.
Similarly, when you walk mindfully, you start to observe every step, making the simple act of walking enjoyable and relaxing. To walk mindfully, first, tune into your breath and then your body. Then, gently bring that awareness to your feet and legs and use it to take conscious steps. The more you do this, the more immersive the experience shall feel. You will also feel more connected to the present moment.
Work on these five steps, one at a time, and take your time with each one. Practice the first step for several weeks, and once you integrate it into your life, move to the next step.
Taking gradual steps allows you to slow things down and enjoy their true essence. With time, you’ll notice a remarkable improvement in your level of mindfulness and productivity.
In the next blog post, we shall delve a bit deeper into how mindfulness helps increase your productivity:
In my book – How To Be Mindful Of Thoughts: Steps To Achieving Mindfulness And Living In The Moment (Buddha on the Inside Book 3), I discuss various other approaches you can use to increase mindfulness. Get your copy and see your productivity at work increase rapidly.
Written with beginners in mind, It will teach you:
- The basics of mindfulness, including what it really is, what it entails, how it works and more
- Why you need to nurture mindfulness
- How mindfulness and leadership coexist
- How to transform your life with different mindfulness techniques
- How to observe your thoughts, manage your emotions and feel good with mindfulness-based meditative techniques
- How to make mindfulness part of your everyday life to derive all its benefits
…And so much more!
Get your friends and family to practice mindfulness too with the widely acclaimed The Ultimate Inner Peace Affirmation Audio Series To Attain Nirvana!