Do you take time to smell the roses? In those moments when you bend your head to the rose, take in a deep breath and inhale the scent, you enter the zone of mindfulness. Your full attention is upon the beauty, scent and surroundings of that rose. Being immersed in the experience places you and your senses in present moment awareness. With no judgments, distractions or striving toward some future objective, you zoom in and take it all in. A “mindful meditation” can be as simple as smelling a rose.
Mindfulness is described as maintaining a present moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment without judging them. It enables you to become an objective observer—a witness to “what is” instead of judging the past or feeling anxious about the future.
This skill is one of the most important skills you can develop on your journey into wellness.
Mindfulness has taught me to
- climb out of the problem and observe it;
- listen with an open mind, body and heart; and
- allow my intuition to lead me to the right solutions for me.
Asthma, cancer and atrial fibrillation were the significant health challenges that taught me to be mindfully aware. In moments of “witnessing,” I was able to get clear about what may have contributed to the illnesses and what lifestyle changes would help me get well. My insights led to expanded self-awareness, and my research led me to the professionals and protocols responsible for my current level of health and well-being.
Embrace a Lifestyle of Mindfulness
Mindfulness exercises enable you to develop the skill of being aware with an open mind in the present moment as incessant thinking about the past and future fall away. If you take half a minute to notice your breathing with all of your senses, your body relaxes and your thinking mind rests. Savoring your favorite food, looking at a sunset or noticing the aliveness in your hands—all of these are mindful meditations. These exercises can last for 30 seconds or 30 minutes. In either case, you are training your mind to be still and aware and allowing your “feel good” chemicals to increase.
The act of being mindful trains the mind to be open instead of making critical judgements and resisting the situation as it exists. In moments of awareness, you are able to detach from a problem, remove the emotional charge and see things clearly. Mindfulness also promotes relaxation, a natural stress reducer.
As you develop this skill, expanded awareness becomes a part of your decision making process. It enables you to make wise decisions because you are able to listen with a clear mind and remain open to possibilities. Your body, emotions, thoughts, relationships and lifestyle are always sending you messages about what is working for you and what is not working. When you tune in, observe and assess, your intuition and instincts surface and help you take the “right” action for you.
Add a positive attitude to this awareness, and you will become unstoppable in accomplishing the outcomes you want. Take some time to play with mindful exercises and notice how they make you feel. You might even make them a habit and be surprised at how your health, well-being and life improve.
Two resources that might interest you:
Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why It’s Good for Your Mental and Physical Health Click: here.
The Assessment of Present-Moment Awareness and Acceptance: The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale.”Assessment, Mindfulness Quiz.” Click: here.
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