What exactly is mindfulness? To be mindful is to be more aware, open, and present in the moment. Many people, articles, and books draw this concept out to seem like such a lengthy process in order to see/feel any real results. In reality, it's almost the complete opposite. Being mindful is practicing small behaviors that make big changes. Although it can be difficult to remember throughout the daily chaos, it's worth the extra effort.
Mindfulness is Important
Practicing mindfulness is important for self-growth. You can learn so much about yourself when you take time for yourself. Shifting focus to what you're thinking, feeling, or doing allows you to be more self-aware. Focusing on your surrounding is also practicing mindfulness. Think about what you see, hear, or smell. Sometimes the most convenient time to try practicing is during routine activities (i.e. during your school/work commute, before going to bed).
As mentioned earlier, it's not always easy to remember to tune into yourself, so it's alright if this doesn't come naturally at first. We don't often get time alone with our thoughts!
Let's Not Forget the Benefits!
Feeling more centered/peaceful
Better emotional reactivity
Improves memory and focus
Better relationships with oneself and others
Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Anything that can slow you down or refocus is being mindful. Here are a few things to try yourself:
Mindful Breathing: Effortless and easy. This is simply focusing on your breathing.
Concentration: Reflect on each part of the day -- the good, the bad, and everything in between.
Body Awareness: Focus on what your body is feeling and doing; still paying attention to breathing.
Surrounding Awareness: Focus on your surroundings and environment based off of your senses.
Tension Release: In a sitting or lying position, practice mindful breathing while focusing on the tense areas of your body.
Walking Meditation: Enjoy a walk while you focus on your breathing as well as your steps.