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Meditate into the New Year

A woman stretching in a yoga pose outside

The New Year’s coming, and you know what that means. Everyone (and their mothers) in the apartments for rent in downtown San Francisco is going to vow to make some kind of personal change, be it big or small, to transform their lives in 2019. You might count yourself among the group, and if you do, might we recommend adding a bit of mindfulness to your routine to gain [some introspective confidence]{
“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.”*

It’ll take some regular work on your part to achieve this goal, but for most, it’s a task that’s well worth the effort. If this sounds like the kind of challenge you’d like to take on for your resolution this New Year’s, then keep reading, as we delve into everything you’ll need to know about mindfulness and meditation.

Why Mindfulness?

We’ve already touched briefly on what mindfulness is — the ability to stay present and focused on what we’re doing in the moment, not overly distracted by everything else around us in the environment. There are few additional details you should keep in mind, however, just in case that description made it seem that mindfulness might be something out of your reach.

First off, the concept of mindfulness isn’t something far-fetched. In fact, it probably already “makes sense” to you on some level because it’s something most humans already do. Practicing mindfulness just helps you cultivate it better and more consistently.

Second, mindfulness won’t require you to make drastic changes to who you are as a person (which makes it a rather attainable New Year’s promise to yourself). You just have to dedicate a bit of time to practice, and the rest will follow as you bring forth your best efforts.

Lastly, mindfulness isn’t just an “all in your mind” exercise. Your body plays an important role in getting it right, and as you learn mindfulness you’ll also want to learn how your body’s cooperation is central to achieving your desired state of relaxation.

So, why would you want to engage in this sort of practice? Cultivating mindfulness, as Psychology Today notes, is “the key to overcoming suffering and recognizing natural wisdom.” Through mindfulness, you can begin to explore the inner workings of your own mental, emotional, and physical goings on.

In time, you will learn to take problems in stride, and develop a healthier, happier approach to complex problems. Your health, work, and interpersonal relationships will benefit, and overall, you’ll feel like you’re better off having had the practice.

How to Practice Mindfulness Through Meditation

If you’re going to start practicing mindfulness through dedicated meditation, you’ll need to know where to begin. comes through with their How to Do It Guide, which covers the basics on where to practice, for how long, and how to position your body for the best results when you meditate.

For starters, you’ll need to find a spot in your living space that is well-lit, uncluttered, and has very little in the way of distractions. When you’re just starting out, practice sessions of about five or ten minutes are suitable, and you can work your way up to doing 45 minutes or a full hour. Try for two sessions a day (morning and evening), and be sure to use a timer to track your progress to keep from distracting yourself internally as you meditate and obsessing over the time.

As for your posture and meditation procedure, they offer 11 substantive tips on how to get it right:

  • Start by taking a seat
  • Cross your legs comfortably
  • Straighten your upper body without becoming stiff
  • Keep your upper arms parallel to your upper body
  • Drop your chin; let your gaze trend downward
  • Sit for a few moments and start to relax
  • Notice your breath; follow it in and out
  • If you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to the breath
  • Make sure to take a pause before moving your body
  • Observe when your concentration wavers, but don’t overreact
  • To conclude, gently lift your gaze/open your eyes

With this series of instructions you should be well on your way to starting your mindfulness meditation. Be aware, however, that you don’t always need to meditate to practice mindfulness.

Practicing Mindfulness Through Other Means

There are plenty of additional scenarios in which you can practice mindfulness, says Very Well Mind. In particular, they cite activities like doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, driving, exercising, and preparing for bed as situations in which you can put mindfulness to good use:

  • Doing the Dishes — Concentrate on how the warm water hits your hands and the repetitive motion of scrubbing plates and pans. Instead of rushing through this chore to get onto something else, savor it and enjoy what you’re doing for the sake of it.
  • Brushing Your Teeth — Again, that simple, repetitive motion is one that you can become lost in.
  • Driving — Turn off the music, focus on your technique, and keep your eyes on the road.
  • Exercising — Instead of tuning out with the TV or a podcast, focus on your breathing and movements.
  • Bedtime Prep — If you have kids, let yourself relax as you get them ready for bed, instead of turning bedtime into an eternal struggle between parent and child.

In time, you’ll learn how to use mindfulness in many situations, and develop a stronger outlook because of it.

The Apartments for Rent in Downtown San Francisco Are the Perfect Place to Get Mindful

It helps to start your mindfulness training in comfortable and peaceful surroundings, and in downtown San Francisco, there’s no spot more serene than The Towers at Rincon. Here, where amazing views of the city and perfectly designed residences allow you to achieve a truly thoughtful state of mind, you’ll find what you need to strike that mindful balance. Learn more about what The Towers can offer you and make this your slice of paradise among the wonders of The Bay Area.