Mindfulness includes formal and non-formal practices. In formal practices you set a period of time where your mind is focused on observing what is going on - body sensations, breath, feelings, thoughts. This is traditionally called “Meditation”. You can do this laying on your back, for example, for “body-scan”, or sitting on the floor or on a chair – this is “sitting meditation”, or in movement, such as in “walking meditation” or performing “mindful movements”. All this has two powerful pillars behind – NON-JUDGEMENT and KINDNESS.
Our minds like to wander a lot, ruminating the past, simulating the future… normally in ways that cause us anxiety, worry, fear. Most of the times the present moment is not stressful, but we feel stressed just because of our thoughts!
If we train our minds to live more in the present and less in the past or the future, we will be much more peaceful and happier! Meditation trains the minds to live in the present. Moreover, one of the effects of meditation is a higher concentration and memory capacity. We can think of the brain as a muscle and meditation as a training. Be patient with your brain, be gentle, be persistent! Start meditating for a few minutes and then increase time at your own speed.
What about non-formal practices? These are simple actions that we perform on our daily routine, but instead of doing them in “automatic pilot”, we do it totally aware of the sensations in our body, feelings, thoughts that emerge. Again, with an attitude of non-judgment and kindness.
For example, eating something, washing hands, wash your face, showering, comb your hair, dress, drinking coffee or water, or juice, or tea, hydrate body, massage feet your own feet, stretch when you wake up…