Understanding Mindfulness: A Clear Explanation with Everyday Examples

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Nowadays, it seems like there are new trends popping up all over the show. Mindfulness is one of the trends you might have heard of recently, but what exactly is it, and why is it suddenly so important? While I have a keen interest in mindfulness and the type of living associated with it, I realized that many people do not know the first thing about it …

Mindfulness is living in a state of acceptance. It is a lifestyle and thought process aimed at being present in the current moment, while noticing what your thoughts and feelings are, without judging them. 

Mindfulness ensures that you have a neutral response to your feelings, as you do not believe that any given moment can impose a right or wrong way to feel. Mindfulness doesn’t come naturally; it takes practice.

Does that answer your question about what mindfulness is? Does it still sound a bit tricky? It does not have to be! In fact, once you understand the concept and know-how to incorporate it into your life, you can watch your life transform along with your personal relationships. 

To clarify things a bit, I have taken the time to break down the concept of mindfulness below. If you want to have a greater understanding of mindfulness and how it can positively impact your life, read on.

The Definition of Mindfulness

There seems to be a varying understanding of what mindfulness really is and how it should be incorporated into one’s life. I thought it would be best to take the official definition of the concept/word into consideration before we move on. 

The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as follows, verbatim:

  1. “The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” 
  2. “A mental state achieved by focusing on one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

10 Tips and Examples to Incorporate Mindfulness in Your Life! 

There is no denying that mindfulness is a psychological process. To achieve this particular state of mind, one has to make changes to their way of thinking, as well as lifestyle. 

Generally speaking, mindfulness is a state of mind that can be reached through meditation and other training methods and behavior changes. If you have a keen interest in mindfulness and want to incorporate it into your life, you will be happy to know that it does not take much time to practice and incorporate in your life at all. Consider the following tips and examples for mindfulness:

1. Give attention to your emotions, but be relaxed about them. 

In essence, you need to accept your emotions without acting out on them. This means that if you are feeling frustrated or sad or bored, acknowledge that you feel that way but treat these feelings as if you are simply observing them. Allow them to be. 

2. Take the time to meditate often. 

There is a reason why so many people do yoga and other meditative exercises; it is because they help to calm the mind and bring you back to the here and now. Meditation helps to remove the noise from your mind and promotes a stress-free and calm lifestyle. 

3. Reconnect with the natural world around you. 

It is easy to become caught up in the concept of concrete jungle living. Most people travel from work to home without being in nature for even a minute each day. 

Mindfulness can be improved by taking the time out to spend with nature. Head to a park, the beach, or somewhere quiet. Kick off your shoes, take off your sweater, and sit down on the earth. Feel the grass beneath your feet, enjoy the breeze on your skin, smell the fragrances in the air, and take note of them. 

If your mind drifts to things you need to do, people you need to contact, or what to make for dinner that evening, gently bring your mind back to the current moment. If you struggle with this, try practicing with a notepad and pen and actually make notes of what you see, feel, smell, and so on. 

4. Put effort into listening to others without forming a judgment. 

If you learn to do this for others, it will become easier to apply it to yourself. When someone talks to you, pay attention, give them your time and show them that you are interested, even if the person is not particularly interesting or has opinions opposed to yours. Be mindful of their feelings.

5. Focus on the exact moment you are living in. 

As humans, we tend to always compare the now with the past or what could potentially be in the future. For instance, you might constantly be looking forward to events in the future, and by being preoccupied with that mindset, you miss out on the small joys of the current moment. Consciously make an effort to enjoy the here and now, whether it is sitting in a sunny spot in the morning or hearing a nice song on the radio.

6. Slow right down.

It has become the norm to do everything at high speed to “get things done”. There is no healthy reason to rush and stress your way through the day, so dedicate yourself to taking things down a notch and doing things much more slowly. 

When you take your time to breathe, do things at a normal pace, and be able to think about what you are doing at the moment without rushing through it, you will feel calmer, more in control, and ultimately more at peace.

7. Be aware of your body. 

If your mind tends to project into the future or you find yourself ignoring the present and drifting off elsewhere or overthinking things, you need to find an effective way to keep yourself in the present moment. You can tap your finger gently on your desk and make yourself aware of it, or you can focus on your breathing, for example.

8. Eat with care. 

Mindful eating is a great way to promote overall mindfulness. How conscious are you of what you eat and the impact that it has on your body? Eating mindfully can be hard nowadays, especially with all the convenience options available that strongly promote overlooking what you are actually putting into your body. To ensure that you eat mindfully, plan your meals carefully, and ensure that the majority of the food stock in your home is healthy and fresh. 

9. Take stock of your feelings as you start the day. 

As you wake up, before you start rushing around to get things done, take note of how you are feeling and what mood you are in. Do not judge your mood and do not allow yourself to feel like any particular feeling is right or wrong. Just practice simply noticing your emotional and mental states and accepting them for what they are. If you start your day this way, you should be able to be more mindful throughout the day.

10. Take a moment to decompress.

It helps to keep mindfulness in check if you take short breaks during the day. Resting your mind is a good way to ensure that it adapts to your new way of thinking/living. Try to take short naps or step away from your daily activities for some minutes to meditate every now and then. Decompressing helps you relax, regroup, and return feeling refreshed. 

Ways to Promote Mindfulness in Your Daily Life

Mindfulness is not something that you can do just once. It is something that requires consistent effort, especially when you are first starting out. There are several things that you can do to ensure that your efforts are not wasted and that you do not stray from the path of mindfulness. These include:

Leave reminders for you to be mindful.

Set alerts on your mobile phone or stick a post-it note on your desk or mirror.

Make it a habit to take your time with each situation in life. 

If you are talking to a friend, take it slowly, and listen before responding. If you are walking to the office, stop to admire the flowers, take note of how other people are bustling around, and so on. 

Limit your social media time.

Multitasking is no good for mindfulness. If you are working and scrolling on social media, or talking to someone and scrolling through social media, you are not being mindful. If you set specific times for social media when you are not already involved in a task or conversation, you can ensure that you are always more mindful.

Last Word

What does mindfulness mean to you, and do you believe that it will improve your life in particular? Is it a trend, or is it a choice? Living mindfully is a great way to ensure that you add value to your relationships and improve your quality of life. If you are interested in living mindfully, consider incorporating the tips above into your life.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He covers topics like spirituality, philosophy, finance, sports, games, and food. JC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a Marketing Concentration at Mercyhurst University. He is a certified USPTA professional who teaches tennis in the New York City Metropolitan area. He has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.