You may have heard of mindfulness. This approach to analyzing your thoughts is known to have benefits for your focus, happiness and creativity. If you’re intrigued by how it works, the first step is to understand just what it is. With this knowledge, you can quickly get into a daily routine to start on your mindfulness journey.
Mindfulness Versus Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are two distinctly different things. Mindfulness is simply the state of being present, with your thoughts focused on your current state, while meditation is a technique that allows the practice of mindfulness. By dedicating a small amount of time each day to meditation, you can learn the skills needed to be more mindful in life.
Meditation may feel awkward at first; however, 10 minutes a day is all you need to get started. Then add more time as you become comfortable with your practice. It’s crucial to acknowledge your attempts to remain in the present and make a conscious commitment to your routine. After time, this will become second nature and you will begin to feel more mindful throughout the day.
How to Reach Mindfulness Through Meditation
It can be tricky to stay fixed in the present. You will have the most success in training your mind if you start in a quiet, distraction-free environment where you won’t be disturbed. Then, make yourself comfortable and find something in the present on which to focus.
Most of the time, particularly at the beginning, people concentrate on their breath to remain present. Keep in mind that it’s perfectly natural for your mind to drift. When this happens, simply bring your thoughts back to the present.
In mindfulness, people often talk about a Teflon mind. You observe your thoughts as they slide through and away again (how Teflon works on a non-stick pan). It’s not about stopping thoughts or dwelling on them but instead acknowledging them in a gentle way and allowing them to drift away as you remain focused on the present. In this way, you are preventing yourself from getting too wrapped up in the past or the future.
In truth, there’s nothing more to it than that. Mindfulness means to remain in the present moment, being gentle with yourself as you acknowledge your thoughts and allow your mind to process on its own as they pass. With time and practice, you will be able to appreciate the benefits it brings to your life and will notice that you’re more calm, creative and focused.