Today, I’m talking about being mindful without meditating. Can it be done?
Let’s just get this out of the way right now.
Do you have to cross your legs and hum? No.
Do you have to be a hippie hipster, hippiest, or monk? No.
Is it religious? No.
Do you have to sit still and clear your mind of all thoughts? No.
And lastly, do you have to do it for a long time to receive the benefits? No.
Being mindful is the basic human ability to be fully present. To be consciously aware of your location in life and what you’re doing right now. Mindfulness is also about not being overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. So, it’s you taking that deep breath and let it go. Letting the stress and worry just float away. Does this have to involve meditation? No, it doesn’t. Meditation is thinking deeply and carefully about something. So, meditation is apart of mindfulness, but mindfulness does not have to be apart of mediation.
When I first began my health journey I thought meditation and being mindful was white, flowing clothes, sitting on a plush pillow in the sun while chanting a mantra or humming, and maybe having some kind of incense all to help reach nirvana. With having that picture in my head, it all seemed overwhelming and way too much work. Maybe you’ve had or still have that same picture of being mindful in your head.
I am here to tell you that picture is fake. Mindfulness is not a big production. You don’t need all the gimmicks and all the products to be mindful. All you need is to learn how to breathe.
Mindfulness is learning how your brain works and using breathing techniques to increase calmness and focus. You can literately be anyone to practice mindfulness. There are no barriers. Being mindful is not obscure or exotic. It can be done during any time of the day. Morning. Noon. Night. Before or after a meeting. At the grocery store. During rush hour coming home from work.
Let’s move on to how to actually be mindful without meditating.
The first thing you need to do is either set away a time and space to be mindful and make a habit out of it or realize when you are stressed and need to take a calming moment to yourself.
The second thing for beginners is to start slow and short. Set a timer for a minute and then focus on your breathing. Breath in for 5 counts and then breathe out for 5 counts. You can increase the time and number of counts when you feel ready.
The third thing you need to do is observe the present moment. Let all judgment roll past. When your mind grabs onto a thought release it and come back to the present. This takes some work especially since our society is always on the go and is busy. Allow yourself this time to breathe and let go. It only needs to be a few breaths.
The next things you can do is flex than relax. This is where you squish and squeeze every muscle in the body tight as you can and take a deep breath, hold, then let it all go. Doing this two or three times should bring extra awareness to your body and mind.
Another thing you can do is stretch and breathe. This would be stretching your arms, your back, your neck, your legs, and your whole body while breathing. This technique is good for those who like to be active. This brings attention back to your present body.
One last thing you can do to help you be mindful is to download an app that teaches you to breathe and can guide you through different mindfulness practices. One really great app I’d recommend is Calm. In this app, you can choose different calming backgrounds that have white noise to listen to while breathing. It also has a breathing bubble that you can follow and also customize. You can also learn the basics of mindfulness with a guide who walks you through the whole practice. There are many other things you can do on the app so go check it out if you are interested.
Being mindful plays into the world of living clean and sustainable. This lifestyle works off of being consciously aware of our surroundings. What we’re buying, eating, drinking, breathing, using, and doing. All that thinking and awareness can be exhausting, so giving time to let the brain rest and relax is a must. Taking those deep breathes regularly brings calmness back into our lives.
Thanks for reading and cutting the fluff about mindfulness today. I hope to see you next week and have a beautiful day.
Take care of yourself.
- Getting Started with Mindfulness: https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/
- 7 Meditation Myths: https://www.everyday-mindfulness.org/7-meditation-myths/
Mind Body Green
- Mindfulness For People Who Think They Can't Meditate: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-be-mindful-without-meditating