Practicing Mindfulness

by Chrissy on June 9, 2013

Beautiful rainy day walk through the trails.

Beautiful rainy day walk through the trails.

By Chrissy MacDonald

It’s easy to get caught up in the past (regrets, pain and loss) and spend time worrying about the future. Are you waiting for this or that to happen so you can finally be happy?

The only thing we can be sure of is this very moment. Mindfulness is paying attention to now. Being mindful can help in all areas of life.

Living with Awareness

In his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that as we go through our day, we do everything with mindfulness. In this way, we can appreciate and enjoy every moment. Instead of dividing the day up and allotting time for ourselves, we can live life more fully and be happier. He says when we wash the dishes, we should think about washing the dishes instead of thinking about getting the dishes finished and having a cup of tea. Wash the dishes to wash the dishes. When they are finished, sit down with a cup of tea, take your time and enjoy each sip.

Mindful Eating Helps Weight Control

When you eat, do it with awareness. I used to munch on tortilla chips while making supper. This mindless eating added a lot of extra calories to my food intake. Eating mindfully and with awareness of each bite helps keep you in control of how much you’re actually eating. To eat mindfully, wait until you sit down to eat. Prepare food with love and serve it happily. Make the plate attractive with various colors and textures. Eat when you’re calm and not anxious or upset. Enjoy and appreciate each bite of food. Mindful eating helps with weight control.

Listening with Awareness Helps Relationships

Another way we can practice mindfulness is to listen when someone is talking to you. Look at them and really listen. Try not to think about what you are going to say next. This is harder than it sounds.

Walking and Starting the Day with Mindfulness

I’m trying to be more mindful in my daily life. Every morning I walk the trails near my house. The woods are quiet except for birds singing. I try to focus on each step and pay attention to my surroundings–the mossy ground and the green leaves now full and vibrant. Being mindful in nature is a wonderful way to start the day.

How to Practice Mindfulness

To practice mindfulness, just notice the moment and be aware of it and how you feel right now. Try not to judge or be critical especially of yourself. It will take time to get used to being mindful and making it a way of life. Whenever you think of it throughout the day, notice your breath and come back to this moment. The practice of mindfulness can help bring inner peace and contentment.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10