In our fast-paced world, it’s unfortunately all too easy to forget to unplug from the endless flow of information and communication, especially with the presence of social media. Sometimes, it feels like you don’t even have the time to breathe!

While it’s undoubtedly important to be active and focused in whatever you’re doing, it’s equally as important to give yourself the ability to “stop and smell the roses.”

This is exactly what makes the practice of mindfulness so crucial to living a productive and satisfying life.

What Is Mindfulness?

Put simply, mindfulness is focusing your awareness on yourself and your immediate surroundings as opposed to any task, activity, or thought that might be occupying your mental space. You can look at mindfulness as a form of mental hygiene.

On the surface, it might not seem like such a simple and effortless activity could be that worthwhile, but practicing mindfulness in your daily routine can be incredibly liberating. Humans are prone to habit. We naturally fall into cyclical routines. However, that does not mean that we don’t need and deserve time to unwind.

You may now be wondering how to put mindfulness into effective practice. Don’t sweat it, though. It’s something you could easily start immediately.

Practicing Mindfulness

To practice mindfulness, you need to let go.

You have a project due tomorrow? An important Zoom meeting? A bit of trouble in a personal relationship? Not anymore! OK, well, it’s not exactly like that, but the point of mindfulness is to set your mind at ease. That’s why you want to forget about any specific happening in your life. Rather, your focus should be brought to the present moment.

It’s important not to blame yourself if your thoughts do wander, because the truth is that everyone’s do. The whole point of mindfulness is to give yourself a well-deserved break.

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Step #1: Take a Seat

First things first, sit down in a comfortable position. Make sure you feel nice and relaxed before you begin so that you have an easier time disconnecting. It doesn’t really matter too much where or how you sit, just as long as you’re comfortable!

Step #2: Set a Timer

This step is extra important for beginners! Because of our mind’s natural tendency to drift, it’s quite easy to lose track of time completely while practicing mindfulness. By setting a timer beforehand, you don’t have to worry about how long you’ll be.

First, try setting your timer for five minutes. This gives you a nice, short break that can be developed into a longer routine as you progress.

Step #3: Focus on Your Breath

And that’s all there is to it! Make a point to avoid being judgmental towards yourself in this process. It’s OK if it takes some time to get used to this practice, as we’re conditioned to behave oppositely. The point of the exercise is to focus on what’s happening in the present moment.

If you catch your mind wandering, that’s totally fine. Just make a point to refocus on your breathing when you do wander.

The Magic of Mindfulness

By practicing this behavior, you can gain a kind of mental clarity you never knew existed. Ironically, learning to “un-focus” can be the best way to improve your productivity!

No matter who you are, you deserve this. It’s essential to our wellbeing to take good care of our minds, which is why practicing this simple routine can be life-changing. Giving yourself time to decompress and breathe can bring you a sense of tranquility that extends itself into all aspects of your life.

Give mindfulness a try this upcoming spring!