We already posses the ability to be mindful. Bringing attention to your direct experience (via your senses) and being aware of your state of mind (via thoughts and emotions) is the foundation of mindfulness. Research indicates when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
Meditation as a practice provides an anchor to the present moment, therefore is a good technique to develop the skill of mindfulness. Following are the steps to practice meditation:
1. Sit comfortably; cross-legged or on a chair.
2. Straighten your upper body but do not stiffen it.
3. Rest your palms on your legs, where you find them comfortable.
4. Relax your neck and it’s not necessary to close your eyes.
5. Bring your attention to the physical sensation of breathing: the air moving through your nose or mouth, the rising and falling of your belly, or your chest.
6. When you find your mind wandering try to bring your attention to your breath.
7. It is not possible to completely eliminate thoughts, hence, instead of wrestling with them observe them and avoid reacting to them. Come back to your breath over and over again, without judgment or expectation.
8. At the end of the process, be aware of your emotions, thoughts and how your body feels.
In addition to meditation the following should also be practiced in order to be a mindful being:
1. Consciously be aware of where you focus, on your action and importantly on your intentions.
2. Don’t slip into the past, excessively worry about the future or constantly watch the clock. Allow yourself to do nothing at times.
3. Avoid passing judgements and negative emotions.Also don’t compare your present happy moments to previous ones.
4. Emotions and feelings are momentary, learn to let go and avoid ruminating over them.
5. Most importantly treat yourself and others with kindness and compassion.