What Is Mindfulness?

Anh LinBy Anh Lin5 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Forever Home: Moving Beyond Brokenness to Build a Strong and Beautiful Life by Anh Lin


As Christians, practicing mindfulness means intentionally aligning our hearts with the heart of the Father and approaching our inner emotions with calmness, compassion, and curiosity. Mindfulness is the first step not only toward self-control but also toward achieving the peace and harmony we seek in our lives. By reflecting the unconditional love of the Father through mindful living, we can break free from the cycle of neglecting our inner selves and truly attend to the parts of us that have been misheard, misattuned, and misunderstood. Mindfulness is about giving ourselves permission to heal and grow.

The Bible affirms the importance of mindfulness by emphasizing the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22–23), such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. By cultivating a mindful heart that is attuned to God and others, we can manifest these qualities in our daily lives.

We have a great variety of ways to practice mindfulness that align with the Scriptures and honor God. I will list the three techniques that work best for me:

  1. Breathe. Breathing exercises can slow down the heart rate, help us feel more centered, and ultimately create space to bring our anxious thoughts to the Lord. One of my favorite breathing exercises is called box breathing. Slowly inhale through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, and slowly exhale through your mouth for four counts. You can repeat this technique as many times as necessary to feel more relaxed.
  2. Integrate. Integrate reflective activities into your daily routine so that mindfulness can become second nature to you. My three nonnegotiable checkpoints throughout the day are writing in my devotional journal in the morning, walking my corgi in the afternoon, and praying in the evening. No matter how busy my days get, I’ve resolved to always protect these three nonnegotiables. I realize I’m a more loving and Christlike person when I make time for these mindful activities. If you love an enriching routine, try integrating two or three nonnegotiable mindful activities throughout your day—sacred times when you can retreat into a solitary place and commune with the Lord. Remember that quality time with God was a nonnegotiable that kept Jesus resilient, resolute, and faithful to the end (Luke 5:15–16).
  3. Disrupt. If you are not used to daily reflections and need more accountability, you can disrupt your normal schedule by setting alarms throughout the day to check in with yourself. My husband was advised by his counselor to do this because he often got lost in the routine of his work. Before he’d know it, the whole day would fly by before he even had a chance to take time for himself. By the time he got done with work, he would be exhausted and have nothing left to give to anyone. Per his counselor’s advice, he started setting an alarm right after his first meeting, another one after lunch, and a third one after work. Each time the alarm rang, he’d ask himself these three questions:
    • What am I thinking?
    • What am I feeling?
    • What am I doing?

By doing these mental, emotional, and physical scans, my husband was finally able to meet his own needs throughout the day and self-regulate. If he’s feeling bothered by the events of his day, he can now label his emotions, check where he feels the most anxiety in his body, and then go for a relaxing walk or take a coffee break. These self-check-ins have vastly improved his body aches, overall mood, and capacity to be present with his friends and family throughout the week.

Taken for Forever Home: Moving Beyond Brokenness to Build a Strong and Beautiful Life Anh Lin. Copyright © September 2023 by Zondervan. Used by permission of Zondervan, www.zondervan.com.

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