In our fast-paced, ever changing, often hair-pin turn technology-driven world, finding moments of peace, presence, and embodiment can often seem like target whipping about in a windstorm. Our sensory organs, nervous system, and minds are constantly bombarded with a barrage of distractions, and our attention is so scattered and diffused across various tasks and responsibilities, its like trying to watch a movie at the drive-in during the day with the teacher from the Peanuts on one side, and a marching band on the other. However, amidst the chaos, there exists a simple, hardly known, or at least underutilized practice that can help us reclaim our inner harmony and tap into the beauty and profoundness of the present moment: mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of being present, and giving attention and awareness to your current experience. Its a practice of showing up in observation with an attitude of openness, curiosity, and non-judgment. It doesn’t negate discernment, but it does require an allowing of the moment to inform, whether directly in an acute understanding, or more passively in a chronic way. It involves a relaxation of the thinking faculties of the mind, and intentionally directing our awareness outside of the sensations, thoughts, and emotions arising in each moment, without getting caught up in them, becoming them, or trying to change them. It is about fully experiencing life as it unfolds, rather than dwelling in, lamenting or being stuck in the past; if not worrying about the future.
Benefits of Mindfulness:
1. Reducing Stress: By focusing on the present moment, mindfulness helps break the cycle of rumination and worry, reducing the sympathetic nervous system stimulation, enhancing the parasympathetic which promotes a sense of calm, sometimes referred to as rest and digest. It allows us to step out of the autopilot mode and engage with life from a place of poise, clarity and centeredness, and through regular practice, an embodied state.
2. Enhancing Emotional Well-being: Mindfulness encourages us to observe our emotions without judgment. By developing this awareness, we can respond to challenging situations with greater emotional intelligence, less attachment, all the while fostering healthier relationships and a more positive outlook on life.
3. Improved Concentration: Regular mindfulness practice strengthens our ability to sustain attention and resist distractions and habitual addictions. It enhances cognitive skills, such as memory, problem-solving, and creativity, ultimately leading to improved productivity and performance in various areas of life.
4. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Mindfulness teaches us to treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. It helps us develop a deeper understanding of our thoughts and emotions, allowing us to respond to ourselves and others with greater empathy and acceptance.
Incorporating Mindfulness into Daily Life:
1. Formal Practice: Set aside dedicated time each day for formal mindfulness practice. This could involve sitting meditation, body scans, or mindful movement practices like yoga or tai chi. Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the duration as you build your practice. Endurance and comfort increases with regularity and discipline.
2. Informal Practice: Integrate mindfulness into your daily activities. Whether you're eating, walking, or brushing your teeth, bring your full attention to the immediate activity. Notice the sensations, smells, tastes, and sounds around you. Engage in these activities with a sense of curiosity, appreciation, and. Committed participation. When we are lost in thought, we hardly can remember what we just did. Have you ever forgot your keys that are in your hand and are looking all over the house for it? Guilty.
3. Mindful Breathing: Whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a few moments to focus on your breath. Observe the sensations of inhaling and exhaling, letting go of any tension or racing thoughts. This simple practice can help you anchor yourself in the present moment and find a sense of calm. If you are familiar with various breathing techniques, pranayama if you’re into yoga and Ayurveda, please use the ones that have the intended outcomes you’re looking for, and or ones that most appeal to you.
4. Non-judgmental, Unconditional Awareness: Practice, remember that means it may not always go as planned, but with discipline and resolve it can become more predictable. So, practice observing your thoughts and emotions without attaching labels or judgments to them. Treat each experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Cultivate an attitude of curiosity and acceptance towards whatever arises within you.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can transform the way we experience and navigate the world moment to moment, hour to hour, day by day and beyond. By practicing mindfulness, we become more attuned to the richness and spacious of each moment, fostering a deep sense of presence, belonging, and in moment realness, which often translates into gratitude and well-being. It enables us to break free from the grip of obsessive thinking, habits and stress, allowing us to live more fully, and cultivate a harmonious relationship with ourselves and others. Embrace mindfulness as a way of life, and watch as it unfolds its myriad benefits, bringing peace, presence, and joy into your everyday existence.
DIVO Wellness is run by Nicholas Kimps, certified trainer. While DIVO classes are known for the fun atmosphere, Nicholas is best known for his attentive caring instruction during class. Classes offered include: Training, (HOT) Yoga, Ayurvedic Consultations and Planning, Parkinson’s Disease Informed Fitness, Spiritual Counseling, Corporate Fitness
Design for Gyms, and Corporate Events. For more information, visit: www.divowellness.com.