Mindfulness is “the awareness that arises through attention, purposely, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
That’s what mindfulness means, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, author and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts.
In short, mindfulness is awareness of what is happening right now within us and in the environment around us.
Although mindfulness practices are similar to religious meditation practices, in truth mindfulness practice is universal as an exercise in thinking and processing emotions that can be applied by people of all religions and beliefs.
We can practice mindfulness in various ways, which is most appropriate when we are lonely and alone.
Here are 5 easy steps to practice mindfulness that we can do when we feel lonely and alone:
First, practice mindfulness by being aware of our breath
Breath is a gift. Breathing is an activity that we do every day, but we are very rarely aware of it.
The first step in mindfulness practice is to be aware of the in-breath and out-breath in meditation or brief moments of silence.
We can sit cross-legged or sit back in a comfortable chair, then close our eyes while noticing the breath in and out of our nose.
Watch the breath in and out. Do we feel short of breath? Try to take a few deep breaths and exhale slowly and regularly.
After a few minutes, usually our heart rate will slow down more and our bodies are more relaxed. Do it for about 10 minutes or according to your settings.
Second, practice mindfulness by being aware of the things around us
The key to happiness is being grateful for what is in front of us right now. Training mindfulness can also be done by being aware of the things around us.
This exercise does not have to be done with closed eyes and meditative body poses. You can also open your eyes and observe an object in front of us.
The object could be a book, a pen, a room decoration, a panorama behind a window, and so on. Focus your senses on one object. Observe carefully the object. What amazed you about that thing? What is the feeling that arises when fully aware of the object?
Third, take a leisurely walk in solitude in nature
Practicing mindfulness does not always have to be silent and static. We can also practice mindfulness by walking leisurely in solitude.
Choose a convenient time and location to practice mindfulness with this relaxing walk.
Forests, beaches, river banks, or even office parks can be locations to practice mindfulness by taking a leisurely walk.
This exercise invites us to be aware of the steps we take step by step. No need to go fast. Enjoy. Stretch your body muscles during a leisurely walk.
Feel and experience the sensation of being “one” with nature in solitude. If you want to be more intense, take time on the weekends to do a Shinrin-Yoku or “forest bath”.
Shinrin-Yoku therapy was developed in Japan in the 1980s and has become a preventive and curative therapy in the health tradition of Japan.
In fact, after just 15 minutes of “jungle bath” or shinrinyoku, blood pressure drops, stress levels decrease and concentration improves. Wow!
It’s easy, find a peaceful forest or green park and take a leisurely walk without thinking much about the direction of your footsteps (of course, be careful not to get lost).
Open your senses to feel the freshness, birdsong, butterfly wings, green leaves, and all the sensations of green nature.
Fourth, being aware of and “naming” current thoughts and feelings
While doing the various exercises above, we are invited to be aware of and “name” our thoughts and feelings at this time.
There are various reasons why this practice of recognizing and labeling our feelings is so difficult. We may be accustomed to being educated in a culture that suppresses various human emotional feelings. Also the rule of law forbids us to vent our feelings (angry) spontaneously.
Finally, these strong emotions are buried deep inside and can explode if we don’t manage them. In fact, these strong emotions remain within us and sometimes appear in the form of thoughts.
In a moment of personal silence, we are invited to recognize what feelings and thoughts are in our minds at this time. Try to be honest with the name: is it sad, lonely, rejected, happy, depressed, afraid, and so on.
No need to cover up, say to yourself, for example, “Oh, right now I’m sad even though I did a great job.”
Appreciate the feeling. Let yourself be familiar with it. Ask, why is he with you right now? Talk to him heart to heart.
Fifth, practice focusing on one main thing at this moment here
The purpose of mindfulness practice is for us to be a person who is focused on the here and now. The key to happiness and peace of mind is living in the here and now.
Bitter memories of the past and excessive anxiety about the future can prevent us from being productive in the here and now (where we are now).
When we work, we often have to multitask. However, the human brain is naturally not capable of multitasking in the modern sense, which puts a lot of burden on mental and physical health.
In the face of multiple tasks, enjoy doing one thing. Solve one by one. Take a break. Don’t forget to be happy because happiness is a choice.
Written by Ian for Inspirasianakita.com