Mindfulness 101 - What, Why and How
by Natashya Khoo on Nov 09, 2021
If you’ve been around the internet for a while, you’d have probably seen the word ‘mindfulness’ pop up a fair bit over the years. Whether you’ve explored it spiritually, or have noticed it on your Apple Watch, people approach the term mindfulness either with open arms or slight hesitation.
We’re here to break down the basics of mindfulness- what it is, why it matters, and how you can get around to being mindful day to day!
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the simple practice of being aware of what is within and around you. It goes without saying that we live in a fast-paced world, where we find ourselves doing a million things at once. The act of mindfulness helps us to be more, well, mindful of our senses and emotions as we approach things in life. Often for beginners, there are guided mindful meditations that help kickstart the practice too, because it can be difficult at first (as easy as it sounds).
This might sound all dreamy to you, but practicing mindfulness long-term can and will rewire your brain, helping you to focus on tasks and have an upper hand in managing your emotions. So it’s not pseudoscience; it really works!
Why should I do it?
We don’t always realise it, but there’s so much happening around us. Think about it- you could be reading this article in another tab of your phone, while doing some online shopping, while thinking about the food you’ll be ordering, while texting a friend, while talking to someone on FaceTime…
We’re busy- not just in what we do, but in our minds too. Even if we’re not physically doing as much, our brains are constantly thinking and planning. Mindfulness helps us slow down to notice it all, and to focus on what matters.
How do I do it?
Let’s try a quick practice! If you have your phone in your hand, notice the weight of your phone in your hand, and how your fingers are positioned. For instance, do you have a finger below your phone? How does that finger feel? Notice the brightness of your screen and how it feels on your eyes.
Notice how your body is positioned, and how it feels. Is your back slouched, maybe? Don’t worry about sitting up- mindfulness is not a rush to correct things, but simply recognising things for what they are.
In this process, you might have had thoughts come to mind like, what’s the point of this? or man my back is arched! When practicing mindfulness, process thoughts like you would with cars passing- acknowledge them, and watch them pass by.
Mindfulness is a practice, and like all things that need practice, it takes time to reap the benefits. However, consider the last step of our little exercise. If you train your brain to let thoughts ebb and flow away, your brain will be better able to release stressful thoughts instead of ruminating over them!
As the world gets increasingly louder, inner peace is something we can all benefit from. We wish you a peaceful time, LIVLOLA fam!