Podcast of the blog
Mindfulness can be seen as a pioneering medium of self-healing at a time when catastrophes seemed to be gripping the world by its inevitability. Mindfulness is active and effortful in ways that encourages a person to make attempts to cope and work through their challenges. An operational working definition of mindfulness is: the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment. Mindfulness involves looking at moment to moment experiences of oneself through observation and experience. The different meditative practices are understood, develop and deepen over time. This invariably requires an ongoing commitment to its practice and cultivation in any and every moment. Cultivating mindfulness can lead to the discovery of deep realms of relaxation, calmness and insight within us.
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) were designed to teach participants to become more aware of one’s thoughts, feelings and body sensations, while approaching these internal states with a non-judgmental curiosity. One of the hallmark aspects of MBI was that rather than changing thoughts and feelings directly, they focused on changing an individual’s relationship to their experience. This in turn led to less distress in the presence of negative thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness practice allows for greater awareness of the present moment, and helps cultivate healthier and adaptive ways of responding to stress, rather than habitual and often maladaptive reactions. The following are some of the basic mindfulness-based techniques that can be incorporated into one’s daily living experiences. All these exercises include ways to bring into awareness the various experiences and sensations present around a person so as to incorporate such awareness into their daily living experience. There is an element of non-judge mentality that wherein no condition is attached to the exercise and in case the attention is broken, it is slowly brought back to the exercise.
This exercise involves experiencing the process of eating with complete awareness. Starting with taking a small piece of food and visually scanning the texture and smell of the same before being placed on the tongue. Further, every bite is taken slowly to let each and every different flavour to be known to the individual. The process of eating slowly allows one to be aware of each sensation of the food.
3-minute breathing exercise
The 3-minute breathing is a quick exercise that can be practised at any place due to its brief duration. It involves 3 steps each for a one-minute period. In the first step, we have to gather complete awareness of what is happening around including making a note of all the thoughts that come to you at any given point. In the next step the attention is pulled inside to just the breathing, gradually understanding the rhythm of the breath without altering them in any way. In the last step, this attention is expanded to the other sensations of the whole of the body while also attending to the breath.
Mindfulness exercise can also be continued while in motion. In mindful walking, we need to cultivate awareness while carrying on with he the unaltered routine of walking. This involves careful attention the body sensations as a whole that includes the subtle changes experienced throughout the body and mind, that includes the exhaustion from the activity. Attending to each step, move, pace, breathe of the experience of walking a whole.
Mindfulness of sounds and thoughts
Mindfulness of sounds and thoughts is an expansion to the simple breathing exercise. Instead of trying to focus on the content of ones surrounding here the individual elements of sensations are broken down into parts instead of being integrated as a whole sound. For example, instead of making a meaning of what we hear, for ex, traffic sound, we can simply attend to the different aspects of these sounds without getting into the deciphering its meaning. Once the complete attention rests of the whole body and breathing slowly the attention is channelized to the surrounding sounds and also the thoughts that occur in one’s mind. Just staying with these sensations for some time and practising to maintain undivided attention.
It refers to a simple transition of mindfulness practise to the daily aspects of one’s routine. Instead of setting aside a time to carry out mindfulness practice, this simply involves attending to the individual elements of any chosen activity and carrying them out with complete awareness of the moment. Thus, by utilizing the learning of mindfulness in the execution of simple tasks, one can embody the practice as their own.