With all the material wealth in western countries, there is something lacking in terms of happiness. We wake up angry, tired and bored all the time, and have an epidemic of depression and anxiety, where as many nations that are not as materially blessed have an overall better state of emotional well-being.

Many of us dwell on events that have already happened or are yet to come, but are blind and numb to the beauty and awe of the moment. Mindfulness is keeping one’s mind focused on the moment at hand, enhancing one’s senses to the world around her and sharpening one’s skill in her endeavors. Only in the moment can we possibly live our lives, for the future and past do not exist.

Meditation is a great tool for training one’s mind in mindfulness. Too many think that meditating is thinking with your eyes closed. This is a popular misconception of what meditating is, and this notion is counterproductive. Meditating is the opposite, it is not thinking. Actually, meditating is not thinking with your conscious mind. Your consciousness is the part of the mind that you are aware of. Buried beneath lies the subconscious, which is much like the subroutines working in the background of a computer, doing most of the thinking. Meditating switches off your conscious mind to give it a break. Meditating reduces stress and helps you through your day. You only need to start at meditating for five minutes a day.

Set your alarm clock for the desired duration. Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Breath slowly. Focus on your breathing. Thoughts are going to try to invade your mind. Don’t let them. Every time a thought pops in your head, go back to focusing on your breathing. It gets easier with practice. Before you know it, that alarm will seem to start to go off sooner than before, so you increase the duration next time. Each time, you will feel refreshed and mindful.

Written by Tom Howard

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