What Is Mindfullness?
In this article, we will take a deep journey on the concepts of living in the moment and mindfulness. What is living in the moment? Or what would it be like to be in the present, to live in the prensent? While looking for answers to questions such as what is mindfulness, what does mindfulness mean, we will actually answer questions. Because, in the simplest definition, mindfulness is actually staying in the moment and living the moment in the real sense. So, is living in the moment, which is always in languages, something that is easy to implement? Or does it require a long practice period? In this article, we will answer these and similar questions about it.
You can also take a look at my article in which I answered the question of What Awareness Means.
So what is mindfulness? The term mindfulness is actually an English term. It is translated into our language as “conscious awareness”. But there are also gurus who call it “awareness without judgment“.
Before we begin, it is worth emphasizing this. The terms Mindfulness, living in the moment or to be in now are often confused with the terms “Carpe diem“. More precisely, the message he wants to convey is “Live the moment you are living to the fullest”, “Carpe Diem”, which can be translated into different meanings such as focusing only on the present, no making a plan or saving for the future, and enjoying the day. However, while this term, which is used frequently in Dead Poets Society, is basically a nice philosophy. But living the moment is a little different for us. In summary, we will not just say live life to the fullest, don’t waste your time here. At the same time, we will give you the message of being in the life you really live. So, what does it mean to be in life. Let’s look at the details of it now.
Human mind mostly lives either in the past or in the future. When you pay attention to your mind for a moment, it is either thinking and analyzing an event in the past, or making a plan for the future, or contemplating the future. Living in the past can sometimes be a recollection of a bad event or a recollection of a good memory. Whatever happens, the mind is currently thinking about an event that happened in the past. Living in the future, on the other hand, is thinking about events or plans that have not yet happened or that may happen in the future. The event envisioned did not happen, and perhaps will never happen. The mind moves away from the moment by thinking about something that might happen in the future.
There is such a point between these two thoughts that life actually flows at that point. It is now. What is happening in the present is neither a past event nor a possible future event. It is what is happening at the moment. So when you give your attention to anything that is happening in the moment, you really live that moment. So you stay in the present. This gives you a unique experience, a great pleasure. Whether you’re watching a movie, reading a book, or just having a coffee. If you pay attention to what you are doing, live in the moment and do the activity you do with this awareness, then the quality of what you do will change and the pleasure you get from it will be multiplied. This is one of the most basic answers to the question of what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is the awareness of the moment that gives you life. But mindfulness isn’t just that.
Mindfulness can be explained as conscious awareness or non-judgmental awareness. This is true, but it’s not just that. Mindfulness is also being able to observe the events that are happening at the moment with an objective look and to embrace the events consciously and lovingly. It is to look at every event, good or bad, with this awareness and to regulate our reaction to the event.
Most of the time, you have observed that the people around you react differently to the same event. An event happens and people react to it according to their current mood. However, the thing is the same. Only people’s reactions to the events are different. For example, an event that can make one person very angry, may be laughed at by another. Or, one person may be offended by a behavior, while another may not care. As it is here, the events are the same and the reactions are different. Mindfulness regulates our reactions to events at this point. It allows us to observe the event with an objective look, and our reactions to this event, which we do not judge, are by embracing it. That is, by accepting it with love. Whatever happens, let it happen. This alleviates or destroys the reaction to it.
What is Mindfulness? Conscious Awareness is actually a set of practices that increase the level of awareness of people and raise the level of consciousness to higher levels. As you practice mindfulness, you begin to observe your mind. And as your mind observes, you learn to accept and follow the thoughts in your mind without judgment. This takes you to a whole new level of awareness. Now you look at life from a different view. Because now you are conscious of what is happening at that moment.
When you start doing mindfulness exercises, you become more attentive to everything in life, not just to your mind. You observe the food you eat with a different way, taste it in a different way, and not focus on different thoughts while eating it. It is no longer just a meal for you. You can focus on the processes he went through until he came to you, and you can think of the people who worked for him. You can see the color, the smell, the taste etc.
After answering the questions of what is mindfulness, what does mindfulness mean, now it’s time for mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is a way of thinking that you can apply to almost anywhere and everything you do. Whether sitting on the sofa, eating, in traffic or waiting for someone. It doesn’t matter, you can do mindfulness exercises in any situation and condition. So what are these mindfulness exercises, let’s take a look at a few of them together. You can also follow the following articles on our blog about awareness exercises.
Focusing on the Breath
Breathing exercises are usually in the first place among different awareness exercises. Noticing and paying attention to the breath in mindfulness practices are among the studies you can do in this regard. So how can you make this breath exercise? First of all, you can do this breath exercise at home while sitting in a comfortable chair, or while waiting for a friend outside. Or you can do the breathing exercise in any place where you can do this focus under different conditions. What you need to do here is to pay attention to your breathing. The air you take in and then the breath you exhale. Watching him give you life without judging him. Watching it fill your lungs, inflate your belly, rib cage. And then to witness it come out of your body. Watching it go on, whether you want it or not.
Another mindfulness practice is body scanning. This application is one of the bed awareness applications that you can apply very easily, especially before going to bed at night. Of course, it is not limited to this. On the bus, you can also do this while standing. What you need to do in this mindfulness practice is to scan your body from head to toe without any judgment and feel that area. Noticing and feeling your feet, fingers, legs, belly, rib cage, arms and fingers, neck, face, mouth, lips, nose, ears, forehead, hair one by one. Giving your attention to each of your limbs for a certain amount of time.
Mindfulless eating or paying attention to and examining what we eat while eating. Paying attention to the color, texture, taste, smell and adventure of what we eat. For example, let’s say you are eating an apple. You can actually practice mindful eating while eating this apple. How do you feel when you hold it in your hands? How is the texture and the shell of the apple? Or let’s say you peeled the apple, is the texture of a peeled apple rougher than an unpeeled apple. You put the apple in your mouth as you examined it with such attention. And you felt its scent before you even bite it. You noticed the watering in your mouth when you bite it. As you chew it with your teeth, you taste it thoroughly. You swallowed it after chewing and observed it go down to your stomach while swallowing. And you took another bite of the apple. With such a level of awareness, you have done a mindfulness practice with foods.
Paying Attention to an Item
If you give enough attention to any object, you will witness the perfection of that object. With this practice, which is one of the mindfulness practices, you will be aware of it by paying attention to the details of the objects. For example, a vase standing on a table. How does this vase stand on the table? What is this vase made of? Is there something inside it or is it empty? What patterns do you have on it? Is it a textured vase or a smooth texture? What colour is it? When you pay attention to these and other details, you will see that this vase is perfect in your eyes.
We are often unaware of the sounds around us. In the chaos of life, we drift from place to place, we usually do not pay attention to the environment because we are only busy with things in our minds. But there are actually dozens of things going on in this environment that we don’t pay attention to. Different sounds blend into each other. So what are among these voices that we are not aware of?
If you are doing this mindfullness exercise on the street, you can pay attention to dozens of sounds such as the sound of a car, a horn, the sound of a child, an animal or the hum of the wind, the sound of the rain. But if you want to hear more soothing sounds, you can do thse mindfulness exercises in a forest or a park. You can feel the songs of different birds and the leaves of the trees talking to each other. You can listen to the sound of the wind and pay attention to the sounds you make on the ground while walking. It can be the rustling of a leaf, or the full sound of a tree where you are walking. A mindfulness exercise, especially in such a place, will be very beneficial for you. Especially if you make it a habit and start doing it every week, you can easily observe the difference in your awareness level.
You can also do this at home when you are in complete silence. You won’t believe how many different sounds you can find even when you think of it silently. For example, the sound of your computer, the sound of the refrigerator or your boiler, the sounds that can be heard from outside, your own voices and more. You can also do these mindfulness exercises by paying attention to many different sounds.