Our consciousness has a wonderful way of interacting with the world – awareness mode. When we live consciously, we realize that we ourselves “distort” reality: we think too much, analyze and evaluate too much. Because of this we cannot fall asleep or rest, we feel broken and uncollected. It is much easier when our consciousness is in the here and now. Here are some tips from books on mindfulness to make it easier for you to focus on the present moment and the status quo.
Start your day mindfully
When you open your eyes, pause for a moment and then take five slow breaths. This will allow you to connect with your body. If you’re tired, anxious, in a bad mood, or have any other feelings, try to think of them as events happening in your mind that appear and dissolve. If you have something that hurts, treat those feelings as sensations, nothing more. Try to accept all your thoughts, feelings and sensations very gently and cautiously. There is no need to try to change them. Accept them, because they are already here in your body. By temporarily turning off your autopilot in this way, you can take a few minutes to “scan” your body, focus on your breathing, or stretch before getting out of bed.
Doing “meditation-breaks” throughout the day helps you focus on the present so you can be wise and compassionate about your own thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Here’s an example of a 3-minute “breather.”
Step 1: You can do the exercise sitting or standing, but be sure to spread your shoulders and straighten your back. Close your eyes if possible. Then direct your attention to what’s going on inside you and accept it. To do this, ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now? What are the thoughts in my head?” Try to treat your thoughts simply as events going on in your mind. If you feel discomfort or discomfort, admit it to yourself and don’t try to change it. It’s the same with physical sensations.
Step 2: Concentrate your attention on one point and focus on the sensations in your abdomen as you breathe, as your abdominal wall rises on an inhalation and falls on an exhalation. Trace the way the air moves inside your body. Use each breath as an opportunity to anchor and stay in the present. If you become distracted, just continue to quietly follow your breath.
Step 3: Now try to expand the realm of awareness around the breath to feel the body as a whole, including your posture and facial expression. Imagine as if your whole body were breathing. If you notice tension or discomfort, try focusing on those sensations by directing your breath there. By doing so, you are helping yourself to explore these sensations and make friends with them, rather than trying to change them. If they no longer require your attention, return to the sensations of your body and continue to monitor them.
Make friends with your feelings
Whatever feelings you are experiencing, try to treat them openly and kindly. Don’t forget that even the most painful emotions-fatigue, fear, frustration, sadness, loss, or guilt-must be handled with kindness. When we replay a situation in our head, our brain reacts to it as a real threat. When we recall the past or think about the future, we have fictional rather than real difficulties in our heads. As a result, our ability to think openly, creatively, shuts down, and we either feel trapped and shrink, or our body prepares to “beat-or-run.”
Make peace with the imperfections of the world
Don’t avoid communicating with those who are suffering and don’t turn a blind eye to suffering. Be aware of the fact that there is grief in the world. Do not put yourself in their place or immerse yourself in your own feelings. It is better to live simply and share time, energy and material resources with those in need. Don’t do things that harm people and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of a chance to survive. Choose a profession that helps you realize your ideal of compassion. Don’t kill and don’t let others kill. Respect others and help when you can.
Take deliberate actions
Whatever you do, try to keep your mindful attention throughout the day for as long as you can. For example, if you’re washing dishes, pay attention to the contact with the water, the surface of the plates, and the changing tactile sensations. If you are walking, look around and observe the landscape, sounds, and smells around you. Can you feel the surface of the sidewalk through your shoes? Can you smell the air? Do you notice the air moving through your hair and enveloping your skin?
Try to take more walks, ride your bike, work in the garden, or go to the gym. Try to set up a conscious and inquisitive attitude toward your own body while exercising. Pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that arise. Maybe you’ll notice that you clenched your teeth or have the first signs of disgust or other negative thoughts and feelings. Try to follow them. Breathe with them and direct your breath toward them. Try to gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercises without losing conscious attention to your body.
Avoid imposing views
Do not blindly follow any doctrine, theory or ideology and do not get attached to it. All belief systems only point the way, but they are not the absolute truth. Avoid narrow-mindedness, and do not be bound to present views. Do not in any way force others, including children, to accept your views-not by authority, not by threats, not by bribery, not by propaganda, not even by education.
Free yourself from the inner noise
You no longer have the need to chase meaningless goals. We all need silence. Stop the noise in your head to enjoy the truly magical sounds of life to listen to. Then you will live your true and profound life. Experiencing your presence in the present, in the here and now, can be done in solitude. It doesn’t mean you have to move to a desert island or go into the woods. Practicing solitude means learning to be in this particular moment in time without thinking about the past or the future. Just find a way to spend some time each day in physical solitude. This will fill you with strength and help you look deeply inside yourself. Even in the middle of the city, you are able to be alone with yourself and not be distracted by the crowds. In order to connect with the world, you must first turn to yourself and connect with yourself.
Remember your breath
Your breath is always with you, it helps you to be in the present. Breathe consciously when you hug a child or a loved one. Breathe when you wash the dishes or eat at the table. Breathing is like a good friend, a constant reminder that you are loved just the way you are.
Awareness gives you the inner calm that allows you to look deep inside yourself and understand who we really are and what we want out of life. The practice of mindfulness is very simple: we stop, breathe and quiet our minds. We come back to ourselves and enjoy being here every moment. And at this point there is all the joys of life.