The really great thing about Mindfulness is that it lets you stay in the present where you don’t need to worry about past mistakes, be anxious about current problems, or fret about what the future might bring.
And you don’t have to be to hard on yourself when you practice Mindfulness because it’s a goal-less activity. It’s perfectly OK to have nothing to do and nowhere to go, as you focus on your breath and anchor yourself in the present moment.
So, here’s a simple exercise that you can start with, right now taken from Chapter 6 of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search of a Life More Meaningful’.
“Adopt an erect standing or sitting posture and shut your eyes, if possible. Start to become aware and acknowledge what is going on with your body and how you are feeling. Firstly pay Attention to and investigate what thoughts are going through your mind. Acknowledge these thoughts as ‘Mental Events’ floating past you like clouds in the sky. Secondly, investigate what feelings and physical sensations you have. Notice anything that is uncomfortable or unpleasant without trying to suppress, or change that feeling. Thirdly, explore more closely with your mind how you body actually feels. Scan the body gently but completely for any sensations of physical tightness or tension. Again acknowledge any sensations but don’t try to change them. Now, redirect your Attention to the physical act of breathing and in particular how that is making you feel in your lower abdomen as your stomach gently rises and falls, expands and contracts with each breath. Use each breath to anchor yourself in the present and if the mind wanders, daydreams, or starts revisiting past events or worrying about the future, acknowledge this without criticism or judgement and gently bring your focus back to your breathing in the present moment. Finally, expand your field of awareness around your breathing, so it now includes a sense of your whole body — including your posture and your facial expressions — as if the whole of your body was breathing in unison. If you become aware of any any discomfort or tension, imagine your breath moving into and around the part of your body where you’re experiencing this and explore and make peace with it, rather than trying to change anything”.
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd