Become mindful. Increase your daily experiences and enhance the quality of your life by becoming more aware. You deserve a richer and more peaceful life.
Everyday, there are thousands of online searches for "how do I become mindful"..."what are the benefits of becoming mindful"..."ways to be mindful"...and, "how will mindfulness help my relationships?"
The good news is, this is something you can get started on right away, and become proficient at it in very little time.
All it takes is the willingness to dedicate a few minutes throughout your day for some intentional practice and focused awareness.
To break it down to the most basic form, Cindy Edwards, a relationship counselor from Flagstaff AZ said, “Mindfulness just means you start noticing things. Little things like sounds or smells are the easiest.
From here, you naturally learn to notice your thoughts, words, and behaviors as you quickly evolve.
Getting that awareness of more impactful things, like that, boosts you ahead to make significant and positive changes in the way you deal with Life.”
You've got this!
Marlena Edwards is therapist from Beaverton Oregon. She said, "Being mindful is really nothing more than being intentional about being aware. It encompasses everything from staying present in our environment, to putting ourselves in someone else's shoes.
This is a real hot topic, right now. There are people on the Internet selling courses that cost over $500!
You do not need an expensive course. You can dive right in with what you've got in your own personal make-up. You can become more mindful with exactly what you've got inside you.
Use that money to get a good journal, and for getting together for coffee with like-minded friends who will uplift you.
Mindfulness is nothing more than being focused on the here-and-now. Not getting caught up in thinking about regrets from the past, nor being controlled by anxiety about the future.
Don't even worry about trying to be mindful all day. It just won't work. Our brain has its own idea about running the show.
Just do this: Take 2-3 minutes a couple of times a day and focus on the sounds you hear. It may be birds singing sweetly, it may be a guy running a Weed Eater somewhere out in the neighborhood.
Whatever the sound, just focus on experiencing it for a minute or two. Dismiss all thoughts.
The more you practice these small little segments, the better (more mindful!) you'll become. Pretty soon, you'll be able to do it for more than 10 minutes. Then you'll really see some benefits!"
Roinella Clemons, teaches relationship classes from her home in Silverton, NM. At one time, she was a practicing family therapist.
When I asked her how to become mindful, she said, "This isn't as difficult as people make it out to be. You do not need some secret decoder ring to become more aware.
Mindfulness is nothing more than you observing your own behavior and thought process.
Here's the easiest way you can start becoming a more mindful person. When you go to bed each night, think of three things you are grateful for, and thank the Universe (or God) for them.
This does not have to be some long, drawn out, cosmic thank you note filled with syrupy spirituality and muddied with religious drama.
It's just your honest feeling about some goodness you recognized in your life this day. You can say things like 'I'm thankful I could laugh so much, today.' or 'I'm thankful my bed is so soft. It helps me sleep so restfully.'
Gratitude plays such a big role in our mental health. The more we can uplift ourselves, the more abundance we will find in Life.
In the morning, start your day with an intention of thankfulness. It can be anything from, 'I'm thankful I get to run on these beautiful mornings.' to 'I'm thankful for how the sunrise shines on my window sill.'
You become mindful through intention. It doesn't have to be a grand production. It doesn't have to encompass a ritualized protracted segment of time.
Just setting your mind to be thankful in small instances will help you develop the foundation for becoming more mindful.
You refresh your spirit through small reflections of gratitude."
One of the easiest ways to become more mindful is to intentionally seek beauty in Nature each morning.
Not everyone lives on a beautiful secluded beach, or has a mountain preserve next to their neighborhood, but you can find beauty even in an urban setting.
Leslie Phillips is a painter, poet, and former United States Marine. Before moving to Taos NM, she spent the first 6 years of her art career in Detroit Michigan.
She said, "When I got out of the Marine Corps, I didn't have many options of places to live available to me. My family of origin was both scattered and completely dysfunctional. There is no way I could survive with my mental health intact if I lived near any of them.
A girl that I met while deployed in Iraq had the same dreams as me. Every cent she made in the Marine Corps went for payment on a three-unit apartment she'd somehow purchased in downtown Detroit.
She told me she'd keep a unit open for me, since we were leaving the Corps about the same time.
When I showed up, it was a bit discouraging. The area looked like the set for a gang movie. The apartment was super clean, but extremely basic. No style at all in the floor plan or 1960's kitchen cabinets.
She only charged me $400 a month, so it was a no-brainer. All I wanted to do was paint, write poetry, drink a little wine with my salad at night, and dream about moving to my spiritual fantasy, Taos NM.
She was a great, great friend. She never complained about the circumstances. She lived in one of the apartments, and rented the other out to nursing students.
I learned more from her about how to become mindful than from any podcast or spiritual retreat I attended during those years.
She taught me about finding Nature's beauty in the inner city. We would get up before dawn, and watch the sunrise shine through the tenement buildings at the end of the block.
We'd walk to a small urban park, stretch near these beautiful tiny, pink flowers, then run a hard mile around the park.
After some push-ups and pull-ups, we'd walk back and sit outside with a cup of premium green tea or some ceremonial cacao, and give thanks for beauty we'd seen and the opportunity to pursue our art the rest of the day.
She taught me how to feel the warmth of our mugs, the subtle sweat still lingering on our cheeks, and the sound of dry leaves blowing down the alley.
I learned mindfulness in one of the most drastic settings imaginable, but it gave me great insight into both my painting and my poetry.
I was fortunate to learn from her how to make some simple bracelets that I sold online. Her gentle spirit guided us both through those bleak days.
Now, we both have a lot of money in the bank. She moved to San Diego to pursue a new career in outdoor photography and I now live in Taos.
We text or talk every week, and about 3-4 times each year, we'll visit each other.
I was able to become mindful simply from being open to her friendship way back in Iraq.
It's been a wonderful journey. Mindfulness when it comes to Nature is now a way of life for me. It completely revitalizes my spirit."
You can start to become mindful immediately, tomorrow morning.
The everyday personal chores that you take for granted, such as washing your face, brushing your teeth, or making your morning coffee can easily become mindfulness exercises.
Janet Hinton, a member of Unity Church Of Sedona, said, "You can take just one minute...just 60 seconds of intentional awareness...to focus on each of the little chores you include in your morning wake-up ritual.
Mindfulness can start in the shower when you feel the water on your skin. Turn the handle to make it hotter or cooler. Focus another minute on the scent of your shampoo. For 60 seconds, watch and feel how your brush glides through your hair. Pay attention to the sound your toothbrush makes.
Instead of running on auto-pilot, and thinking about the upcoming stresses of the day, give your attention to the present sensations of the physical aspects of your morning routine.
This is a wonderful start for both your day, and for building the habit of mindfulness.
You become mindful by focusing on little micro-segments of your everyday life life. This will strengthen and refresh your spirit."
Your daily workouts, or even walks, can present one more opportunity to become mindful.
Focus on the sensation of movement and the beauty of the environment.
Exercise is a wonderful way to revitalize your spirit. By taking just 30-60 seconds to really hone your concentration on the physical elements of breathing, change in body temperature, feeling the cool metal of a barbell, or a droplet of sweat running down your cheek, you will be rewiring the circuits of your brain to become more present.
Mindfulness can take a huge jump when you make an intention to help a stranger, in some way, each day.
This does not have to always be with a cash contribution. It can be extending yourself by a genuine smile, offering a kind word of respect or encouragement, or just a light touch.
Josh Tedford is a stock market analyst in Danbury CT, he said, "My job is pretty impersonal. I'm crunching data to pass on to the traders so that we all can keep making huge salaries.
The money is great, but the work is pretty dehumanizing..
My girlfriend has been talking lately about mindfulness, and how to become mindful. She thought it might help my mental health, and as she put it, 'renourish my spirit."
She suggested that we volunteer at a homeless shelter across town.
I didn't want any part of it. Sadly, I thought of it as wasting a lot of time with a bunch of losers. In my mind, I said I'd do it just because I wanted her in my life.
I had no idea how misguided and restrictive my thinking had become.
When we started, she served food on the line, while I continually mopped up spills (and urine) in the seating area.
I found myself getting into conversations with many of the attendees, even though I tried to avoid it.
What struck me was the sheer amount of heartache many of them had experienced. So many of them had lost children to diseases, horrible accidents while they were at work, or even to abuse from someone living in their home.
Many had lost marriages, careers, and families because of their former addictions.
The whole experience changed me from the inside out. I found that I had more in common with many of those street people, than I had differences.
Yes, we lived in completely opposite situations, but we all were experiencing feeling isolated, judged, not good enough, and even scared about the future.
Becoming more mindful meant I got to see that we were all brothers and sisters under the skin. I know that sounds like a trite cliche, but I don't know how else to put it. Circumstances separated us, but connections of the heart joined us.
I know that does not sound anything like the Alpha male I see myself as, and for some reason, I'm okay with that.
My girlfriend tells me I have become more tender and loving toward her. She said she will never be able to get enough of me. Our relationship has hit the after-burners, and this actually has turned into soulmate-true love.
My friends from college and at the office would belly laugh and roll their eyes at me talking like this, but I can tell I'm becoming a better version of a man. I now want to be more conscious and aware.
I found that the best way for myself to become mindful, was just by extending myself to a group of people far removed from my comfort zone.
Becoming more mindful has brought me closer to my girlfriend, and it's made me a better man."
Digital devices have helped us leap ahead in productivity, but they have been a detriment to developing the mindfulness needed to connect with both ourselves, others, and a spiritual force outside ourselves.
While they provide a firm boundary from the "noise" that attacks our spirit from the outside world, they also erect a barrier that keeps us isolated and disconnected from the healing aspects of Nature.
Debbie Sorenson is a Bio-Integration Therapist from Eugene OR. Her entire intervention protocol is based on human connection of spirit and natural environment.
She said, "You can become mindful simply by being out in Nature, and paying attention to her healing modalities. This does not entail sitting in a meditative Lotus position against a giant redwood tree for hours at a time.
You can rebirth your spirit with 60-second intervals of intentional concentration an all aspects of Nature.
Find a park or hiking trail. Close your eyes. Take 45 seconds, or even a minute, and experience the breeze across your forearms, feel the warmth of the sunlight on your face, hear the sounds of wildlife and God's little creatures.
Do this several times during your walk.
Breathe deeply and imagine fresh, positive air filling up your lungs. A minute is fine. As long as this focus on the subtleties of Nature take your mind away from obsessive planning, revisiting the past, or trying to guess about the future.
Nature provides the ideal backdrop to become mindful and refresh your spirit."