In this tutorial, I’m going to teach you the easiest way to learn mindfulness and incorporate it into every aspect of your life.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to run before you can walk. Learn the skills in an isolated environment first and then take it on the road.
- The Easiest Way to Learn Mindfulness
- Mindfulness in a Nutshell
- Take Baby Steps to Learn Mindfulness
- Enhancing the Skill
- Taking Mindfulness Outside
- Make it your Default
- Don’t Get Discouraged
- Summary of the Easiest Way to Learn Mindfulness
- Hey – Thanks for Reading
The Easiest Way to Learn Mindfulness
Mindfulness is growing ever more popular as we seem to struggle with daily life. People are seeking ways to eliminate stress, and mindfulness is the perfect antidote if it’s done properly. If it’s not done right, it can lead to more frustration and more drama.
So let’s take a look at the easiest way to learn mindfulness.
Mindfulness in a Nutshell
Our lifestyles over the past few decades have become increasingly “mind” based compared to the physical lifestyles of our grandparents and even our parents. The convenience of the internet has replaced many of the physical tasks we used to have to do. Many of the chores we did have been replaced by machines. We no longer fix things, we just rely on cheap replacement products. Even the humble TV remote means we no longer get to stretch our legs to change the channel or the volume.
The list of mind based tasks goes on and on. I could easily write a couple of pages of examples, but I don’t want to bore you.
But the point is, as our roles change towards the mental, our minds get stronger and stronger, but we find ourselves so focused on what our minds are saying that we phase out from the reality of the physical world.
Many people have had the experience of driving down the road only to realize they have no memory of the last two traffic lights because they were caught up day dreaming of their upcoming vacation. Or re-living an argument they had earlier in the day with a co-worker.
This seems to be happening more and more. We’re focusing more on what our minds are doing and less on the physical world.
So, mindfulness is the deliberate act of trying to place our attention on the physical activity we are doing. Trying to draw ourselves back to the present moment in the physical world.
You see, the mind can only operate in the past or the future, but not the present. So by focusing so intently on the present moment, we can gain some relief from the constant chattering of the mind and the drama it seems to dig up for us.
When you do it properly, the silence produces a natural joy and happiness that just rises out of nowhere. The reason being that, when you’re fully present, your mind can’t worry about the future or complain about the past. Both of which are skills it has gotten really good at in recent decades.
With this peace, also comes tremendous health benefits as your body relaxes and stops producing stress hormones in response to negative thoughts.
Take Baby Steps to Learn Mindfulness
So if mindfulness is just focusing on the physical aspects of the present moment, what could be so difficult?
It’s not difficult at all, but sometimes people try to apply mindfulness to their entire life in one go and miss the point because they’re just skimming the surface, or get frustrated because it doesn’t seem to work.
1 – Start by taking control of your environment
The best way to learn mindfulness is to learn the techniques just like an athlete would learn a new skill. A soccer player doesn’t get good at kicking the ball just by playing soccer matches. They get good at kicking the ball by kicking the ball repeatedly. Aiming at targets or kicking back and forth against a wall. Dribbling the ball around stationary cones instead of trying to take the ball around another free thinking player.
Don’t make the mistake of going out into the world to learn mindfulness. If you say, “I’m going to do my shopping mindfully”, then see just how quickly you can stay focused when you have to navigate other people and the bewildering array of products that all require you to use your mind to make decisions. You’ll soon forget you’re supposed to be feeling the weight and texture of the oranges as you pick them up and instead get dragged into stories about which oranges look better than the one you picked up, or how inconsiderate someone is for leaving their shopping cart in the aisle.
Just like meditation, try to remove as many distractions from your environment as possible. Find a room where there is little movement or sound and at the very least, no other people.
2 – Isolate your awareness
To further remove distractions, choose something small to focus on. Something you can hold in your hand. A tennis ball, or baseball. A pebble or a piece of wood. Just something small enough to hold that will give you a small enough area to focus on that your peripheral vision goes blurry.
3 – Choose your sense
To further isolate your awareness, pick one sensation at a time to focus on. If you choose vision, then just use your eyes. Ignore all the other sensations until you can just stare and observe the tiny details. If you choose, texture, then maybe close your eyes so you can really dive into how the object feels.
4 – The devil is in the details
Our entire sensory system is designed to look for changes in their stimuli. If you hear a twig snapping, it will grab your attention because it’s a change to the ambient sound. If you see movement, your eyes are drawn to it to see if it’s a threat. It’s a change to your visual stimuli. You don’t notice your skin unless you put your hand on a hot stove or a fly lands on your arm. A change to your stimuli.
Our minds jump around from one sense to another, responding to changes, but “you” can decide where to put your attention.
As you look at your tennis ball, your mind will see it, identify and want to move on. But don’t let it. Dive into the details. It’s not just a fuzzy fluorescent sphere. Each fiber on the ball is unique. They each catch the light differently. There will be subtle shadows and reflections from your surroundings or your hand that change the color of the ball.
Dive into the minute details as much as you can.
5 – Don’t be in a hurry
Once your mind has identified the ball and identified it as non-threatening, your mind will feel an urge to move on to something else. Resist that urge as much as you can. Each time your mind wanders, just bring it right back.
The best way to remain focused is to slow down. If you slow right down, your mind will feel safe.
Practice this “deliberate mindfulness” as much as you can until you have mastered the technique.
Enhancing the Skill
Now you can further refine the technique by spending a few moments studying each thing you pick up. When you grab the TV remote, just become mindful of it for a few moments before you turn on the TV. When you grab a knife and fork out of the cutlery drawer, just spend a few moments looking at the light and reflections.
When you pick up your car keys. When you grab an apple.
Basically, anytime you pick a small item up that can fit in your hand, just practice the skill for a moment.
Taking Mindfulness Outside
This is a big step, but again, don’t jump right into applying it to every aspect of your life. You’ll get frustrated.
Go for a walk outside, or into a store with the intention of practicing mindfulness. Each thing that catches your eye, just pause and focus your awareness on it. Again, it’s all about moving slowly and taking your time to regain control of your focus and not letting your mind drag you to the next distraction.
Natural spaces are a great place to start. A park, woodland, a meadow, a river etc. There are fewer distractions, and more importantly, fewer people.
In addition, nobody will question if you stop and stare at something. They’ll think you’ve spotted an amazing creature. You can casually touch the bark of a tree as you walk past. You can stare at a flower, pick up a pebble, walk slowly, or sit on a bench. Listen to the birds or the sound of a river.
So I would wholeheartedly suggest nature as the place to start, but coffee shops and book shops are the next place I would suggest. And again, you are going there with the intention of practicing mindfulness. Be present the whole time and you might even notice your mind getting distracted and judging the world around you.
After all, that’s what you’re trying to get control over, so noticing it happening is the first step.
Make it your Default
The final step is to make it your default way of experiencing life. This is incredibly hard and is the reason why you need to practice all the steps above. Over and over again until it becomes so instinctive that you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
I actually don’t think this is a step you can take deliberately. It just sort of happens silently without you making a conscious decision.
But going to a meeting with the intention of being mindful. Getting in the car with the intention of being mindful. Going shopping with the intention of being mindful, will help ease yourself into it.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Even though it sounds simple, “focus on being present in the physical aspects of your life”, it’s actually harder than you think.
You will fail and fail and fail again as your mind keeps dragging you into stories. Your mind has had lots of practice, so be gentle with yourself and take your time. You’re not bad at mindfulness, your mind is just really good at grabbing your attention. But patience and persistence will pay off.
Summary of the Easiest Way to Learn Mindfulness
Mindfulness is such a wonderful way to live. Allowing you to find inner peace and natural happiness.
To experience a silent mind and the wonderful health benefits of not getting dragged into stories in your head that force your body to release small amounts of harmful hormones.
Everyone should practice it. Technically it’s our default natural state, but society forces our mind to the forefront of our awareness.
The easiest way to learn, is to learn deliberately in an environment that you control, with small isolated objects that allow you to focus on the details.
Take baby steps to learn and baby steps to introduce it into your daily life. That’s how you’ll see the benefits and avoid the frustrations.
Good luck my friends.
The Gregarious Hermit
#Mindfulness #LearnMindfulness #InnerPeace #Happiness #BeHappyNow
Hey – Thanks for Reading
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