We spend so much of our days going from one task to the next without pausing to take in the real meaning behind each moment. We put our heads down and tackle those activities that we think we’re supposed to do, without considering the meaning behind our actions — or whether our actions align with our true selves.

But life doesn’t have to be an endless to-do list from which we never lookup. We can learn to take a mindful approach to our lives and make a more conscious effort not to let moments go by without living them as truthfully and authentically as we can.

With each moment, we’re given an opportunity to learn something valuable about ourselves. But instead, we often waste these opportunities on unproductive thoughts. We must remind ourselves that it’s this present moment that matters most — not the unknowable future or the unchangeable past.

Mindfulness keeps us present and able to better take in what we’re experiencing. It’s an elevated awareness that involves hitting the pause button in our busy minds and allowing ourselves to experience an expansiveness that feels like we’re breathing along with nature. There’s no feeling of separateness. It reminds us that we’re here in this moment of “now.”

Explore these ways that Mindfulness can raise your consciousness and bring your life into balance:

1. Let Mindfulness provide you with present-moment breaks.

Mindfulness is an open invitation to live life more fully and more attentively. It helps you enjoy what you see and take in, and lets you realize new heights in your awareness. Do yourself a favor and take the present moment breaks from the demands of everyday life. Remind yourself that you’re here in this moment and that all this moment asks of you is to feel love and acceptance towards yourself and others. 

2. Use Mindfulness to become a “life gazer.”

Life gazing is like an eyes-open meditation where you consciously observe everything you see with acceptance and non-judgment. Do it wherever you are by putting your attention on whatever is before you — the clouds moving across the sky, the trees waving in the wind, or the people crossing the street as you wait at a red light. When you do this, you can feel more relaxed and at ease with yourself because you have no expectation other than enjoying what life has to offer. Life gazing will help you experience increased awareness and become more present in your life.

3. Employ Mindfulness to connect with your authentic self.

Take time to go inward and connect with your true self. Notice those aspects of your life that ring right for you and those that don’t. Your awareness will allow you to know exactly what you need to do. Start supporting your authentic self with thoughts and intentions that can help you strive to be your most conscious self. This means telling yourself only things that support being the best version of your self. Even if you’re putting your focus and awareness on areas you’d like to change or improve, do it consciously.

4. Allow Mindfulness to quiet your inner critic.

When you practice Mindfulness, you stop being a harsh self-critic and instead become a constructive advisor. Your inner talk that begins with “I can’t,” or “I’ll never,” quiets because the authentic self knows its own strengths and weaknesses without defining them as such. With Mindfulness, you let go of self-criticism and awaken to acceptance and peace.

5. Make room for your spiritual being through Mindfulness.

Focus on your breathing for several breaths to calm your mind. When you stop all of our busyness and “doing,” you allow yourself to become less distracted and more still. As a result, you notice more of what’s around you. And, in your state of just being, there’s nothing you have to do other than show up for the moments of your life and observe them with gratitude and appreciation. This openness raises your consciousness and helps you realize that what you do with your day affects all of the todays of everyone on the planet. Mindfulness allows you to drop into the “eternal now,” approaching the world with the raised consciousness of a truly evolved spiritual being.