Posted December 1, 2008
The Art of Mindfulness
All of us can fall into a habit of inattention due to the routines of a typical day, going into the bathroom to brush the teeth and wash-up, get dressed, eat a quick breakfast, get into the car and go to work. Most of us are engaged with the same routines at least five days a week with little variation.
If you are going somewhere and suddenly realize that you have arrived without noticing anything along the way, you engaged in what is known as ‘going on automatic pilot’ or mindlessness. You basically were not paying attention to what you were doing because it has become so routine that it feels like second nature.
Mindlessness is caused by the stressed-filled lives most of us live as well as the repetition of going to work the same way at the same time over and over again that we sometimes do this without thinking. Stress can become so much of a habit that we tend to not think about it and ignore it. This can have the adverse affect of us becoming more physically or emotionally dysfunctional that we can no longer ignore what is going on. Our bodies become tenser and we start to engage in negative self-talk, which can lead to panic attacks or depression.
Mindfulness is simply paying more attention to the present and focusing on yourself, what you are thinking or feeling. We all have this ability, to know what is going on outside and inside our own body, to pay attention without trying to change anything and focusing in on what is now.
The technique of paying attention to the present does not require any special knowledge, nor do you need to have any special abilities. Mindfulness is a form of easy meditation, which will help you get control of the situation and most feel more relaxed after practicing mindfulness.
The first thing you may want to do while waiting in line at the grocery store for example, is take a few moments to become aware of yourself in the line. Focus on your breath without changing the way you are breathing, just become aware that you are breathing. After you have done this for a few minutes, expand your focus on your sensations, for example paying attention to your heart beat and allowing yourself to feel and be aware of the different sensations of your body.
Meditation is about focusing on your breath and mindfulness is a form of meditation. The practice of mindfulness can be done anytime you feel confused, are under pressure at work or frustrated by taking a few minutes to focus on your breath and what your body is experiencing. Mindfulness also allows you to get rid of negative thoughts that cloud your thinking. Whenever any negative or feelings of failure come to mind, acknowledge them, then come back to the present by focusing on your breathing.
With practice, you will find yourself noticing that you are more aware of things around you, including the painful things and you will become more aware of yourself. You will feel more relaxed, which will allow you to deal with every day things in a more effective.
Copyright © 2008 Conrad Raw
Conrad Raw is an expert in practical techniques for personal and spiritual development. He is the author of "Forbidden Secrets Of Personal And Energetic Development." He travels the world to learn and teach and is the founder of GreaterHumanPotential.com.
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