The origins of mindfulness practices are commonly thought to have started in Buddhism. If that were the case, the concept of mindfulness would date back to around 2,500 years ago. However, it is believed the Yogic Practices of the Hindu religion began between 2,300 BC and 1,500 BC in the Indus Valley, near modern-day Pakistan, therefore preceding Buddhism.
The practice of mindfulness can become a life-changing experience. This practice will allow you to reduce stress and become more alert while bringing a feeling of relaxation.
Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways including taking walks and even washing your hands. Let’s take the next few moments to discuss some of my best mindfulness practices geared towards those that travel for work and those who work from home.
As a woman of color from Chicago who practices mindfulness, I can say that this holistic approach to my life has been a game changer. I have moved from reading mindfully to becoming a Chakra Balancing Reiki Master.
I was introduced to the concept of mindfulness many years before I realized it was mindfulness. In fact, my very first encounter with a mindful practice happened while reading Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch. I began to pay closer attention to what I was reading, while meditating on the words as I read them, all while being open to the possibility of having an experience similar to what Walsch describes in his book.
After practicing mindfulness while reading, other mindfulness practices entered my life over time. I became aware of what mindfulness meant. With this awareness, I was attracted to meditation, chakras, even yoga (although I have not mastered the art of practicing yoga, but I’m still trying). Eventually, I learned several ways of practicing mindfulness as the years advanced, a few of which I’d like to share with you now.
How to Practice Mindfulness:
Let’s go through some easiest ways to practice mindfulness no matter where you are.
One of the best-known mindfulness practices today is meditation. Meditation is one of the earliest forms of mindfulness. The amazing thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, and with practically anything. It’s as simple as deciding to be present; meaning acknowledging what you are doing in that very moment and being aware of things like breathing. Here, let’s take a stab at it.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose.
- Hold this breath.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth.
This small breathing exercise can be done anywhere and at any time. Do this six times a day and watch your life change!
The next mindfulness practice is walking. Each step you take, pay attention to the way you place one foot in front of the other. Notice the way your arms move with each step. Notice the gravity that’s keeping you grounded. Now, notice the smells around you or the sounds. These actions are considered moving meditation and they add to mindfulness practices. Other mindfulness exercises are rooted in eating and drinking. An example would be using your opposite hand to eat, drink, and / or brush your teeth.
Each example provided will allow you to become present. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you will reduce anxiety about the future. It can also help you stop from dwelling on the past.
We do these practices daily, and by being aware of these actions, you will begin to have your own mindful moments.
The more mindfulness you practice, the less irritable you will be, the more tolerant you will become, and the better you will cope with whatever is going on in your life.
Take some time to be mindful today. You deserve it!
- Chakra: Various energy centers in your body that correspond to specific nerve bundles and internal organs.
- Reiki: An energy healing technique that promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety through gentle touch.
- Meditate: Think deeply or carefully about something.
- Mindfulness: “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” ~UMN.EDU
Source: Blinkist Magazine; Amy Leonard