In its most basic form, mindfulness is the ability to present in the moment while being fully aware of where we are and what we’re doing while not becoming overwhelmed by the things happening around us. This is easier said than done. We live in a world where we are constantly stimulated and distracted whether it be by a text message, unusual noises outside, or co-workers speaking loudly around you.
It can be hard to be fully present and not be thinking about your to-do list or anything else that may cause a person stress. So how do we combat these stressors and distractors in a time when everything seems to have the sole purpose of adding stress or stealing focus? By practicing mindfulness, you can reduce stress, be more focused, and engage more with others.
Whether it is a breathing exercise, incorporating yoga into your life, or finding a new way to relieve stress, there are many different ways using mindfulness can improve your life. I previously discussed a few great mindfulness texts, but here are several more to help get you started:
Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Family by Susan Kaiser Greenland
Rewiring your thought process can be difficult at first, and it can even come off as intimidating to the uninitiated. These notions considered, Mindful Games strives to make mindfulness accessible to people of all ages — especially those on the younger end. The book — which is best enjoyed with its accompanying activity card collection — presents mindful exercise in a series of games referred to by Greenland as “the new A, B, C’s.” If you are looking for a lighthearted, entertaining way to introduce mindfulness into your child’s lifestyle (and in yours), this text serves as a great starting point.
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindful thinking can be applied to many facets of everyday life, including diet and nutrition. As willpower is key in any nutrition-based plan, a mindful approach can train the mind to forgo temptation and keep you on track. Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Savor” explores this concept and “shows us how to end our struggles with weight once and for all.”
“What Does it Mean to be Present?” by Rana DiOrio and Eliza Wheeler
DiOrio and Wheeler’s text has a fairly self-explanatory title; it delves into what it truly means to be “present” in thought. What may seem like a complex concept at surface level is actually somewhat simplistic when broken down. Increased awareness is showcased via recurring characters put into various environments and situations, including the beach and at school. Lessons are gently presented, appealing to a wide range of reader ages.