In our modern way of living, with its stress, distractions, demands and fast pace, feeling balanced, present and in control requires conscious attention. When we consciously pay attention to what we experience we are being mindful.
When we are mindful or live mindfully we can easily notice when we are not connected to the present moment. And when you notice that you are not present, you at that moment can choose to get back to being present.
An increased sense of happiness, balance and inner peace are amongst the many benefits of mindful living. Embracing present-moment awareness has also a direct effect in improving the physical and mental wellbeing by boosting the immune system, decreasing fatigue, increasing creativity, lowering stress, and more.
Meditation is the Key
One of the practices that makes it easier to be mindful and to enjoy present-moment awareness is meditation. Meditation is an essential part of your spiritual practice and helps not only to relax the body but to quiet the mind so you can enjoy inner calm. The more you practice meditation, the easier it becomes to be mindful.
When you find yourself easily distracted by your mind’s chatter and drifting into ‘non presence’ you can use my ‘5-minute meditation to present-moment awareness’. This is a quick and easy tool to find your center again, you just need a quiet place to be alone and a few minutes to just breathe and be.
I always encourage my clients to do this meditation several times a day, not only when they feel they need it but as part of their daily routine as a way of knowing what it feels like to be present and in tune with what they are experiencing.
5-Minute Meditation to Cultivate Present-Moment Awareness
One of the best ways to live with more awareness is to practice meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to take lots of your time either. It has so many benefits that you are at a disadvantage if you don’t practice it.
To get started I’d like to share with you a 5-minute simple mediation.
This meditation is a simple but powerful technique that uses the breath as a way of centering you into the present. This meditation helps you relax the body and move beyond your mind’s chatter to the stillness of the present moment.
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit in a chair or on the floor and make yourself comfortable.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Every time you inhale, take your breath a bit deeper into your solar plexus, and when you exhale, do it slower and longer. Continue to allow your breath to flow easily.
- Now, bring your attention to your breathing. Notice the sensations produced by each inflow and outflow of the breath. Notice the pleasant sensation of air flowing in and out of your body.
- As you notice thoughts coming into your mind, do your best not to follow them or give them attention. Don’t fight them either, just let them be. Continue focusing on the rhythm of your breathing.
- If you mind wanders away, distracted by thoughts, external sounds or sensations in your body, gently bring it back to noticing your breathing.
- At the end of the 5 minutes, remain where you are keeping the eyes closed enjoying for a moment the state of presence.
- When you are ready you can open your eyes. If you have your journal with you, you can write anything that may have come up during the meditation.
You may feel that this brief meditation is not enough to affect or make a difference in your life. Every time you do this meditation you will emerge more balanced, relaxed and calmer and you will bring that state of being into all your daily activities. This simple meditation helps you to become more mindful.
Practise this meditation every day for 5 minutes when you are first getting started, and increase the time as you feel comfortable. Soon you will not only feel the benefits provided by regular meditation but you will start to uncover other things that lay hidden behind your mind’s chatter and the busyness of your life.
Test and practice this meditation and let me know how it goes.