The definition of mindfulness, as per Headspace website is:
Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.
I was not aware of the term till a few years ago. I think it is a new term due to all the distractions and simulations in our environment that prevents us from fully engaging with the moment. When I was growing up we were taught to be mindful through simple day to day life things, which now on reflection, helped in enjoying the moment.
With no gadgets and TV, we were encouraged to draw, sing, paint and indulge in creative activities. These helped us focus and dedicated to the task at hand. I remember spending a lot of afternoons listening to stories from my grandmother. The mind used to wander from time to time but as there was not much to do around us, we were hooked so that we didn’t lose the plot.
I must say I have lost this art in my adult world. Partly it is because of simulations and technology but a big part is gaining the “skill” of multitasking, which in reality is no skill at all. You end up doing multiple things half heartedly.
My aim has been to practice mindfulness more as it brings calmness and contentment in life which has a direct relationship with happiness. You seek enjoyment in the present moment and whatever you are doing. There are multiple apps and articles to help you get started but the simple things work for me – even though I struggle to practice it at all times.
- Focus on what you are doing at that moment.
- Give your attention to the person or task in front of you.
- Slow down – enjoy and savour your surroundings
- Pay attention to your breathing at least 5 mins a day. My watch helps me with that.
- Be grateful – say thanks for all that you have!
I started today by focusing on things at hand and really paying attention to my environment. It was really bizarre the sound that you can hear when you are present. I will continue to practice mindfulness and take one step at a time. Let me know how you go!