What is Mindfulness?

Let's talk for a minute about Mindfulness Training for a Better Attention Span (or rather, 'Applied Mindfulness and the underlying 'Martial Arts Katas' for the mind). 

Mindfulness is the ability to remain entirely focused in the present moment while acknowledging thoughts, feelings, and emotions without being distracted by them. Through mindfulness training, you can slow down thoughts, decrease negativity, and calm your body and mind. Mindfulness training is not difficult to do. It requires you to do whatever you are doing at that moment with your whole being.

Practicing mindfulness is to be 100% with yourself in everything you do daily. We all have the tendency not to want to be in the here and now. Our minds continuously wish to run away with each fleeting thought. From waking in the morning to going to sleep at night, our thoughts are continually racing. We all know how to perform our daily tasks, but we do them unconsciously. We all know how to get dressed in the morning, but many don’t do it consciously.

Our habitually wandering mind has become a habit. The habit is powerful, so we need to transform it. The more we free ourselves from this wandering, the more we will be capable of living in the present moment. In today’s society, we tend to multi-task. Multi-tasking leads to dispersion. We need to be 100% focused on the task at hand. Whatever that task may be. Mindfulness throughout your day is an all-day training session. You can practice with everything you do.


It is going to take a lot of effort to remain mindful and discover your true potential. Over time you will begin to realize you are far more than what you appear to be. As you continue training, you will see the more mindful you are, the less your internal chatter is. Your thoughts become more manageable and gain clarity. A clear mind is a happy mind. Inner power will increase as more profound parts of your being rise to the surface.

 
As you continue being mindful, you will see how your focus is getting stronger, and your ability to carry out tasks faster and without distraction improves. Gradually you will be able to focus for longer times and on more of your activities. Below, you will find a few examples of practicing mindfulness in your daily life. You can turn simple actions and tasks into concentration exercises. These examples are guidelines to use to practice various activities in your everyday life.


1) On many occasions, we ignore the food we eat. We eat while our minds are focused on various other things. Eating becomes an automatic task, and we do not enjoy it. From now on, when you are eating, focus only on the food you are eating. Avoid talking, watching tv, reading the newspaper, or doing anything that takes your attention from the task of eating.


Eat while paying attention to everything you put in your mouth. Look at what you are eating. Look at the color and texture. Focus on biting, chewing, and swallowing the food. You will find that you are enjoying the food while your concentration is improving.

 
2) While putting on your clothes, focus on getting dressed. Focus on putting on your shirt, skirt, shoes, etc. Instead of allowing your mind to wander.


3) While reading a book or a newspaper, focus solely on what you are reading. Do not listen to the radio, watch tv, or think about other matters.


4) When using tools or machinery, focus entirely on what you are doing. Do not think of anything else, daydream, or talk. You will be using the tools more safely.


5) When doing physical exercise, focus on the body movements and your breathing.

 
6) While doing all household chores, focus on what you are doing. Focusing on tedious tasks strengthens your concentration and willpower. Focus on any task without watching tv, listening to music, or thinking of other matters. Every time you realize your mind has drifted away, bring it back to what you are doing.

 
By following the above examples, you are teaching your mind to attend to one thing at a time. You will achieve more significant results in less time. In the beginning, it will be an intense fight with the rebellious mind to focus on what you are doing. But with practice, the thoughts will calm down. Do not get discouraged. Your concentration will improve.


You can practice these exercises for as long as you can focus on the task or activity. Mindfulness practice is not limited to a specific time of the day; you can practice everywhere. With practice, your concentration will improve a great deal, and you will be able to focus on more of your tasks and actions.

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