Mindfulness Practices to Cultivate Inner Stillness

In the hustle and bustle of modern society, it’s easy to simply miss life. With everything happening in the world today, it’s becoming more a chore to live in the present moment.

Social media is constantly grasping for your attention. There’s an endless river of stress keeping you on your toes, exacerbated by the endless worries of a changing social climate. You constantly need to plan, do, and achieve – And there has never been more pressure to become someone.

Then there’s that little voice inside your head telling you to work harder – To be more productive and to get more done. Life is a competition after all, and your mental jukebox certainly won’t let you forget that.

It never ends.

That’s the problem – We’re always living in the future which is why it’s more important than ever to learn to live in the now. This is where mindfulness practices come in handy.

Mindfulness practices are ways to get out of your head and into the present moment.

You don’t need to be a monk to be mindful. All you need is the present moment. If you’re conscious – You qualify!

So let’s look into some mindfulness practices to drop into the present moment.

What does it mean to be mindful?

Man doing mindfulness practices

Mindfulness is to be absorbed in the present moment without thinking. When you’re in the now, your mind is empty from thoughts, stress, and worries about the future.

Essentially, being mindful is to be fully present with any given aspect of your life experience.

Being mindful is not a task, nor is it something you do. Living mindfully is a philosophy – A simplistic lens of life that allows you to mentally declutter and fully appreciate everything you have right now.

Mindfulness applies to every aspect of your life. You can even be mindful of your thoughts, as long as you are completely present with them. Mindfulness can be applied to:

  • Your work
  • Hobbies and avocations
  • Tasks and duties
  • Driving
  • Motion/Moving
  • Walking
  • Eating and drinking
  • Breathing
  • Socializing
  • Talking
  • Listening
  • Watching something

You can cultivate mindfulness in every aspect of your life, and doing so will benefit your life. To learn more about bringing mindfulness into everyday living, follow the link below:

Why is mindfulness important?

The mind can be a tormenting place, and you can waste away your life stuck in it.

Mindfulness is important because it helps you reduce internal suffering. In other words, it’s great for your mental health.

Mindfulness is important because it:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves clarity
  • Helps you focus
  • Creates a better mind-body connection
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Better emotional regulation

We conjure a lot of pain through thought, as dwelling on the past and future can exacerbate internal conflict. Pain compounds through resistance while inner peace is achieved with acceptance. To learn more about how this works, check out this article:

Mindfulness acts as an internal oasis. It creates a peaceful space void of stress and worry where you can recharge. The quality of your life is based on the quality of each moment you have. This is why mindfulness is critical in making the most out of life, and experiencing life to its fullest.

What are mindfulness-based practices?

Mindfulness-based practices are specific activities you can do you bring your awareness inward. Certain practices such as meditation, yoga, and breathwork help cultivate mindfulness, meaning the more you practice these activities, the easier it becomes to be present.

Although it’s important to incorporate mindfulness into daily life, I suggest doing mindfulness-based practices regularly to help cultivate inner stillness.

You can start by doing grounding practices here:

How can you practice mindfulness?

Present man - Living in the moment

Here are some mindfulness practices to help you achieve mental and emotional equanimity.

Try to apply as many of these practices as often as you can. Make mindfulness a lifestyle, and watch this new way of being fruit in various forms within your life.

Avoid dwelling on the future

In most cases, anticipating something you’re worried about is worse than the experience itself.

Our minds love to overdramatize situations and think of the worst-case scenario. Sure, sometimes this is necessary so that you can prepare for the worst, but we tend to overdo it.

Therefore, avoid dwelling on the future. It’s okay to plan and organize, but make sure it’s balanced. If you feel your mind drifting off into worry, gently bring it back to the now and breathe.

Bring it back to your breath

Your breath can be very grounding and relaxing if used correctly.

Attentive breathing stills your mind. Therefore, make a habit of breathing deliberately to settle your mind. Breathe slowly and deeply, and give your breath complete undivided attention for a few moments until the calming effects take place.

Every time that you remember, take a moment to breathe. When you feel yourself drifting off, gently bring your focus back. Attentive breathing will help you be more present and mindful every time you do it.

Focus your attention

A mindfulness practice is to focus all of your effort and attention on the task at hand – Rather than diverging or multitasking.

When you do this, you will become absorbed in the activity. Giving everything your full undivided attention prevents your mind from drifting off, and keeps you focused on the activity at hand.

Don’t give a half-assed effort to something while your mind is elsewhere. Be completely present with what you are doing, whether this is cleaning the dishes, watching a movie, relaxing, working, or playing a sport.

Everyday life is filled with tedious tasks. Most of them you probably don’t even recognize. Think about whatever you are doing, whether it’s taking a step, opening a door, driving a car, or talking to someone, and do it with grace.

Stop rushing

To be mindful, you need to push the proactivity mentality to the sidelines. Being proactive isn’t a bad thing, but it can become excessive.

Part of being mindful is to balance getting things done and taking your time to enjoy them. People tend to get everything done as quickly as possible so that they have plenty of time to procrastinate.

Instead of rushing through life, slow down and pace yourself. Take your time with whatever you’re doing and understand that life is not a race. If you aim to get it done, then you are not living in the moment, you’re living in the future.

Appreciate the present moment

When you realize that life passes quickly, you begin to savor experiences more. When you savor experiences more, you tend to become more grateful for your experiences.

By properly appreciating what you have, you will naturally spend longer doing it. You will become more absorbed in the process because it makes you feel good. Appreciate the people you are with, the adventures you go on, and the opportunities that are presented – Knowing that every moment is unique.

Change will inevitably happen and life will transition to different experiences. Don’t give so much importance to time, but prioritize the process. Notice every little positive occurrence, from a sunny day to falling in love.

Learn more about building this muscle of gratitude here:

Sit with your emotions

Never push your emotions away, but learn to sit with them – For better or worse. Emotions and feelings play a huge role in your life experience, and you should pay close attention to them.

When you are attentive to your emotions, you will start to become more mindful. When you make a habit of feeling your emotions, you will move back into your body. When you try to escape them, you shift into denial and become less grounded.

Experiencing emotions is just as important as experiencing events and situations. Avoid analyzing the emotion or wondering why you’re feeling something. Savor the good emotions when they arise, and listen to the negative ones.

Develop bodily awareness

Give more attention to your bodily awareness and focus on all the subtle sensations. Be deliberate with your movements and motions. Move slowly and do everything with care and compassion.

Notice your arms, legs, fingers, toes, nose, ears. Feel the blood running through all of your body parts, the air filling up your lungs, the sweat forming on your brow. Notice the tension in your muscles, every sore, ache, and movement that your body makes.

Every time you lose focus, bring it back to your body. Pay attention to what sensations you feel regularly, to the movement of your body, and to what it is feeling.

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