Mindfulness can be defined as a technique of deliberately focusing your attention on the present by not allowing yourself to be distracted by the other thoughts and ‘noise’ in your mind. It is characterized by deeper self-awareness, meditation, and relaxation techniques that help you to pay attention to thoughts, feelings, and sensations at the moment without being judgemental. Amidst the demands of this world, persons are prone to spend every moment planning, brainstorming, problem-solving, daydreaming, worrying, and even thinking negative or random thoughts, which can be overwhelming and toxic, leading to a likelihood of anxiety, stress, and depression.
While mindfulness, which originated from Eastern religions, is sometimes used as a treatment in medical circles, Christians can also use mindfulness in a Christ-integrated way as a therapy tool to prevent stress and anxiety. The key is to ensure that your practice of mindfulness is rooted in scripture and focused on connecting with God. The Bible admonishes us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that “We should demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Paul also encourages us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...” Christian mindfulness helps us turn our attention to God in every detail of our lives and can be highly beneficial for spiritual renewal. If you are not currently practicing Christian mindfulness, now is an excellent time to start with these simple steps:
Lay the Foundation - The basis of Christian mindfulness is the awareness and acceptance that God is always present with us and involved in our daily affairs. You must develop a heightened awareness of God’s active presence that will allow you to see His hands in everything. When you do this, you will constantly have a prayer of gratitude on your lips as you see God’s handiwork in your life and experiences.
Pay Attention – Practice to ground yourself as you take the time to experience your environment with all five senses- touch, taste, sight, scent, and smell. Name what you sense as you embrace the moment. As distracting thoughts pop up, bring back your focus to the present. Naming the items, you sense, as random as they are, helps you to focus. Thank God for his workmanship and his creation. Praise him for the day that he has made, where you can rejoice and be glad in it. Still your other thoughts and experience the moment for what it is.
Breathe – Many persons may not know, but breathing can be used to control your emotions. In Christian mindfulness, it’s not just about deep breathing, though. As you embrace this practice, you pay attention to each breath as you connect with God. You can also breathe a prayer or a phrase or just words from a comforting scripture verse. As you inhale and exhale, you can recite a blessing or a scripture promise that will help to anchor your mind in Christ.
Meditate - You do not need hours for meditation. You can do this as a part of Christian mindfulness, even during your break time. Choose a passage of scripture, read it, process, it and reflect on what God is saying to you through this verse or verses. You can use the Amen.io App to help you to choose relevant scripture passages. Meditate on God’s Word and try to understand what the Holy Spirit is saying as you connect with God.
These are just a few simple steps that can get you started on the journey to Christian mindfulness. Download Amen App to find more ways of growing your faith in a mindful way.