One Second Mindfulness
Make every second count
Often the word mindfulness makes us picture someone sitting in lotus, legs crossed, and eyes closed meditating for hours on end. But what if it is something you can do right now and would only take one second? Yes, it can be done in one second and yes, every second counts!!
Mindfulness is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. We hear it on the radio, we read it in the news, and we are told that we should practice it because it’s good for us, but what exactly is it and how do we practice it?
Moments of Mindfulness
All of us have experienced moments of mindfulness. Looking up and observing the pinks and blues of the night’s sky as the sun begins to set. Breathing in the fresh air and noticing, for the moment, exactly what it’s like to be right here, right now. At the zoo, we may gaze at a yawning tiger with its sharp teeth, whiskers and nose wrinkled. In moments like these there can be a natural pull into mindfulness. You often recognize moments later as it seemed time slipped on by. So, when there aren’t moments like these, in the seemingly mundane, we can choose to intentionally bring our awareness to the present moment in order to be mindful.
Try These Ideas of Mindfulness:
- Practice mindfulness with our pets. It’s a great place to start because animals are always mindful and fully present at any given time. Simply being with them can lead us into mindfulness easily and naturally if we take the time. Being fully intentional with our attention on a pet as they plop onto the floor, roll around on their back, or slurp up water can bring us into mindfulness. Likewise, practicing mindfulness observing nature’s animals can lay the foundation for your mindfulness practice.
- A rewarding exercise is with our children. Being completely intentional and focused as they talk, play, or engage with us will help us to practice mindfulness. And it will contribute to the well-being and confidence of the child as they feel seen, cared for and empowered. If thoughts or emotions arise, observe and note them before allowing them to pass and then intentionally bring your focus back to the present moment.
- Challenge yourself to experience your thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions can be so consuming it is often difficult to disengage. It may seem impossible in the beginning but it can be done and with practice it gets easier. The “passengers on the bus” technique can be helpful in this scenario. Imagine you are the driver of a bus and your thoughts and emotions are all passengers on the bus. You know where you are headed but anger screams at you to turn around. Anxiety says you can’t do this or you’ll never get where you’re going. You can choose to let these thoughts and emotions drive the bus or you can bring yourself into the present moment and treat these just like passengers on a bus. You are in control of driving the bus—the thoughts and emotions are just passengers along for the ride.
Mindfulness is something we can practice in any situation, for any length of time. The more we do it, the easier it becomes. Starting with easy practices such as with animals or in nature can help us to build a foundation of mindfulness. Being mindful with people can help us to empower and validate others while strengthening our own skills. When we observe our own thoughts or emotions and can bring ourselves back into the present moment, we have really begun to build some mindfulness muscles. So, forge your foundation, strengthen your skills and build your mindfulness muscles!