Living in the sunshine state and having access to beautiful sunrises and incredible sunsets, we have an opportunity to experience everyday what others envy and come to experience on their vacation. By having this paradise at our fingertips it’s easy to forget what brought us here in the first place. We begin to overlook the attraction of the area as our lives become engulfed with, well – life.
Have you ever watched a drop of water falling onto a liquid surface? Possibly you recall watching raindrops hit puddles. Seeing this in slow motion or in a photo during the action of the drop hitting the surface can be mesmerizing. The action is dramatic as the drop splashes into the surface spreading up in the most dynamic dance, bringing different light and texture while being beautiful all at the same time. Watching this small but significant event can focus your attention to detail and appreciation for environment, energy and an overall feeling of peacefulness.
Do you take the time to embrace moments of your life? It doesn’t necessarily need to be watching raindrops but to intentionally enjoy increments of your day being mindful of the beauty, joy or peacefulness. Are you aware of your thoughts, feelings, surrounding environment, and the energy you are feeling? In practicing mindfulness, we tune into those sensations without bringing the past or the future into the picture.
So, what does it mean to be mindful? Psychology Today defines mindfulness as “a tool that allows people to be more aware of their physical and emotional conditions without getting bogged down in self-criticism and judgment.” Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” Basically, mindfulness means being aware of and controlling your experience.
Another way to think about it is to allow thoughts to pass through and explore the experience and accept what comes into your awareness at the moment. A way to expand upon your thoughts, feelings and sensations without an end goal.
How to practice mindfulness
There are many ways to practice mindfulness. A good way to start is to be aware of what you are doing with everyday actions.
Begin with your meals. Many of us eat without thought of what we are eating, how fast, nor the taste of individual foods. Try to not have distractions and pay attention to flavor, You may be surprise how filling – mental and physically, as well as satisfying, this practice can be.
Other ways to experience mindfulness is to be observant with your surroundings. Listen more intently, pay attention to your breathing and really feel the connection in your senses between touch, smell, sight and sound. Find time to be quiet and focus on the peacefulness outside of the daily world of noise.
What are the benefits
Research studies have suggested that mindfulness can benefit our bodies as well as our minds. It can improve our mood, increase positive emotions, reduce stress, and affect overall psychological well-being.
See where you can incorporate a little mindfulness into your life. Perhaps it will be watching drops of water making their dance as they bounce off the surface. Or it may be tiny steps to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a daily basis. Enjoy the world around you and take in the multitude of different ways to find happiness, joy, fulfillment and purpose.
“It’s never too late to take a moment to look.” ― Sharon Salzberg