Living in the moment today is a utopia. Although it seems a contradiction, because technically we are in the present and not in another time, the reality is that this affirmation is only allowed with our body. The mind, meanwhile, allows itself the luxury of coming and going without paying attention to the here and now. That is precisely mindfulness. This anglicism is translated into Spanish as whole mindset or mindfulness and it consists of paying attention to what we are experiencing at each precise moment, without judgement, with acceptance and curiosity. In other words, preventing us from thinking about many other things while doing something (cooking, running, brushing our teeth…) that prevent us from fully enjoying each experience.
“We live fast, with a list of tasks and responsibilities that make us live unconsciously, on autopilot and with our minds occupied with thoughts of the past or the future, which leaves very little space to pay attention to the present moment, to what we do, how we feel, what we think about. …”, explain the experts in mindfulness at Petit Bambou, an application specialized in meditation. Thus, with such a hasty lifestyle, it is possible to suffer from mental disorders that negatively affect our physical and mental well-being.
where to start
As those who know the most explain to us, mindfulness practices are very simple and accessible to everyone. They distinguish between two types of practices to improve the ability to live in the present moment: formal practices and informal practices. And both can be integrated into any daily action from day to day.
Meditation is the formal practice of mindfulness. Instead, the informal practice consists of doing certain activities of the conscious daily life, avoiding automatisms. “This helps us not only to enjoy what we are doing more, but also we manage to stop rambling about the past or future, relaxing the mind”.
three mindfulness exercises for beginners
Following in the footsteps of informal practice, we could choose any of the activities that we usually do unconsciously to start practicing mindfulness. These three exercises indicated by the mindfulness experts at Petit Bambou could be the ideal to start in conscious practice:
- conscious shower. Instead of taking advantage of that moment to think about the agenda for the day, we can pay attention to the sound of the water, the temperature, the sensation of the water falling on the skin, the smell of the gel, the contact of the fingers on the skin. body…
- mindful walk. Pay attention to the movements of the body when walking, how the weight is distributed on the feet, the sounds that surround you, the smells, the sensation of the movement of the clothes on the body when walking…
- conscious cooking, then eat mindfully. Pay attention to the sound when cutting the vegetables, the smell they give off, the sound when cooking them in the pan, the texture of the food in contact with your hands…
Mindfulness is to the mind as sport is to the body, therefore it is important to continued practice in time to continue experiencing its benefits. All studies on the benefits of this practice are based on a minimum of 20 minutes per day. This time can be too much for a beginner and can generate rejection towards the initiation, that is why we recommend starting with 10 minute meditations and continue increasing the duration until you reach 20/25 minutes or the time you want. Although it is frequency more important than duration: better a little every day than a lot from time to time.
A day or weekend mindfulness retreat can be a good option to continue deepening the practice. It is a moment of self-care, of silence, where to find oneself without the rush or “have to” that invade us every day. And that is already a pleasure in itself. Now, as already mentioned, the ideal is to reach integrate this practice in our day to day And with every experience.
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