Being aware does not mean paying attention to just you. Full awareness comes with much more consideration to those around you and your environment. Becoming more mindful requires a focus on the present. To live in the moment is the goal.
However, it can be difficult for anyone to be truly aware. To experience the emotional rollercoaster of human life without judgment may feel impossible. Anger and resentment are normal thoughts and they can derail positive focus. Practicing awareness can help dissipate these negative anxieties.
Mindfulness is a quality of being that takes training. There are various methods that you can try. Each of us experiences our own moments. Everyday our individual paths cross, but our minds are unique. What works for one person may not work for someone else.
Check out the following 7 techniques anyone can integrate into their daily lives for better awareness.
Meditation exercises are extremely varied. You do not need to set aside hours of time everyday, 10 minutes can do the trick. Mindful meditation at any length can help to reduce stress levels and anxiety. Some people find these techniques help them sleep as well.
It’s like a conscious state of rest and relaxation for your body and mind. Finding that center balance within yourself is the first step to truly appreciating the moments of your life. There are various YouTube videos with guided walks through the process and it will become much easier with practice.
2. Go outside
Detach from the digital world and go for a run. Take a walk or swim in the sea. Even if you only have time to fit in a pit stop at the park, do it. Greenery is proven to help people achieve meditative states of mind. And when in nature you gain new perspectives.
You can inactively pay attention. Breathe in the fresh air and focus on your mind. Concentrate on your innate interaction with nature. It’s easy to find the time to fit in some outdoor activities everyday. Walk to lunch or bike to work. You don’t have to live by the ocean to experience the affect the natural world will have on your mindfulness.
3. People watch
This does not mean go out with a bunch of your friends, although, socializing is encouraged. It is imperative to a well-balanced and happy human existence. And in any social moment you should practice awareness techniques. Let yourself be in the instant you are experiencing.
However, it can also be advantageous to be around people by yourself. The local café or shopping area are great places to take a few minutes, enjoy a coffee and just watch other people. Do not judge, yet let yourself think about others with kindness. What are their lives like? What do they do for work? How has their day been? This perspective can take you outside of yourself and help you relax in a pleasant peace with your own existence.
4. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is an easy technique for awareness that anyone can practice. Make a list every morning on your cell phone or on a white board. Write down at least 5 things you are grateful for. Try doing it again before bed. Some people find journaling tedious. It’s understandable in a busy life to be exhausted at the end of the day. To write it all down takes time.
But it takes only 30 seconds to list a few things you are grateful for. Perhaps you want to use your Instagram or Facebook accounts as platforms to help you focus on what fills your mind with gratitude. Whatever your method, you will quickly notice your attention to what truly matters in life increased.
5. Engage your senses
Stimulate your body and mind with your six senses. Smell the flowers and bring some bright colored roses home. Taste your morning coffee, breathing it deeply in. Pet your dog’s back for a few minutes and notice the soft fur. Close your eyes and listen to your favorite song. Or even break out the paint and mess up a canvas. Whatever it is you do, try to emphasize on each sense everyday. Take the small moments in life and focus on them. Be more aware of not only how they affect you but also how they affect the world around you.
Cooking and baking also stimulate senses of touch, smell and even sound. Each of these senses triggers endorphins in your brain. Going back to basic human needs is sometimes the best way to start practicing mindful awareness. Cooking itself can be a meditative stress reliever. And has been proven to ease depression and anxiety.
The tasks involved in cooking processes create space in your mind. Leaving it free of negative thoughts and focusing on appreciating the task at hand. There is a self-satisfaction and self-reliance built from both of these activities. When you pay attention to what your body and mind need, you will begin to see the positive results.
7. Do Nothing
Doing absolutely nothing is much harder than it sounds. No phones, no other people, no television and no reading or writing. You do not want to surround yourself with material possessions or social situations. Find a few minutes everyday to do nothing.
Some may find this meditative as well, in a sense. However, when truly meditating you are still focusing on breathing and the process of which you are attempting to achieve. But when doing nothing, your mind is not thinking about the past or the future. Push any complex thoughts out of your mind. Just be. When doing nothing your brain will find ways to recharge and reset for a more aware state of being.
In a generation of technology overload it’s increasingly difficult to practice daily methods of mindfulness. Being aware is not always as easy as it may sound. Many of us need to stay connected for our work and careers. And it can feel impossible to find time for yourself, let alone remaining constantly aware.
Do not stress about doing anything the right way. There is only the right way for you. Nurturing a concentrated awareness is a lifelong process. Integrating these 7 techniques into your routine is a good start. Change of habit can take time. And like with many things in life, practice makes perfect.
Remain conscious and attempt to truly connect to the moments in your daily life. It will enhance your overall well being and help you live more centered and attentive to the present moment.