Mindfulness provides some amazing benefits during your mission to live more holistically, from helping you to live in the moment, to reducing stress and anxiety. An excellent perk of being more mindful is becoming more self-aware. It helps you to find clarity and understand who you are, who you want to be, and what might be holding you back.
Meditate and Practice Breathing Exercises
To start working on your mindfulness, you can become more self-aware by concentrating, meditating and practicing breathing exercises. Meditation is going to help you really focus your mind on being more mindful through the practice. Keep in mind that it takes some time getting used to meditation, but breathing exercises are really helpful in the beginning. You can start by just focusing on your breathing, being in a meditative state while you slowly inhale and exhale, and do this for just a few minutes a day.
Sometimes people will use the words "prayer" and "meditation" interchangeably. As a Christian, I want to be careful about this. Prayer is addressing God, praising Him, confessing our sins, asking for forgiveness or mercy for ourselves or others and thanking Him for all He has done for us. This is wonderful to do, certainly! But it is quite different from meditating or thinking deeply, going into a space where you're being mindful. I don't want to confuse the great benefit of and need for prayer with this separate way of focusing and becoming more aware. I hope that makes sense.
Focus on Just One Activity at a Time
Mindfulness is about being in the moment, but that is really hard to do when your mind is concentrating on 5 things at once. Try to realign your thoughts to just one task or activity at a time and don’t focus on anything else during this time. If you are reading a book, don’t let your mind wander to your to-do list or what you plan to eat for dinner. When you are enjoying some time with family, try to keep your focus on just that one activity, and not what you intend to do after.
Slow Down and Sit in Silence
It is not uncommon for us to be focused on one thing when we are doing something else. Maybe you always listen to music when going for a walk or you watch TV when you are eating dinner. Try to do these activities in silence, where you are concentrating on the present experience, instead of trying to constantly be distracted.
If you are not used to doing this, try it during one meal a day. Choose a meal, like breakfast or lunch, where you only focus on your meal. Don’t listen to music, read a book, or use your phone. Just sit quietly and concentrate on the experience of eating this meal.
Move Your Body More Often
Spend some time each day moving your body. This doesn’t need to be a strenuous exercise, but get up and go for a walk, do some yoga, or even just dance around your living room. Regular exercise helps you to be more self-aware of your body and your health, and allows you to really appreciate how much movement you can get.