WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is the mental discipline of focusing and refocusing – moment by moment – on the object of your awareness. This object (whether the lively botanical fragrance of a hair conditioner, or the sound of a babbling brook) is experienced through your five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell, or sound. These senses bring in the information, but it’s your brain that decides what to do with it.
MindLESSness means being unaware of your senses and surroundings – being lost in thought. MindFULness draws you into the present and produces a calming effect, simply by focusing on one stimulus. It is the practice of intentionally engaging each moment with kindness and curiosity.
Scientific research confirms the health benefits of mindful living. Through even occasional practice, mindfulness is proven to enhance physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This is not some vague metaphysical concept. Quite the contrary. Mindfulness is about rooting into life, here and now. It’s messy, real and refreshing.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION?
Mindfulness involves your focus on the world around you, as brought to you by your five senses. It’s physical, tangible.
Meditation involves an awareness of your inner life. Your thoughts and intentions. Meditation creates an internal stillness where you can more easily connect with God.
NOW YOU TRY IT!
Tomorrow morning, begin your daily routine without simultaneously mulling over your to-do list or having an imaginary conversation with that difficult person you’re likely to see. Instead, focus on the delicious hot beverage in your mug and follow these prompts: ☕
- Pay attention to the coffee’s aroma.
- Notice how the flavor washes over your tongue.
- Feel the the cup’s warmth in your hands.
- Observe the dark (or creamy) colored liquid.
- Be aware of the sound of your breathing as it echoes from the depths of the mug.
Continue being present in the same manner, during each seemingly mundane task, until you arrive at your morning destination.
Notice everything around you as your senses bring that awareness. Sure, you’ll habitually fall into the occasional brain fog, but be kind to yourself.
When you notice your mind wandering off, gently redirect those thoughts back to the task at hand, and the physical sensations you’re experiencing.
This exercise won’t merely calm and center you, it’ll make you a safer driver too! 😉