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How Mindful Photography Can Improve Your Well Being

A mind has been tamed when it can live consistently in the present. How do we get there? How do we quiet the inner chatter so that we can concentrate more easily?

Mindful Photography might be a way to go!

Mindfulness and being in the Present Moment

By developing present-moment awareness, we may appreciate each moment, slow down the passage of time, and reconnect with the basic wonder of life.

Presence can change the quality of being, transform the quality of your time, lead to great creative flow, enhance your relationships and increase productivity.

By being in the present moment, we can get in touch with the fundamental wonder of being alive, and even the most ordinary moments become extraordinary.

Your mind might rob you of time

You've for sure caught yourself waiting for the weekend, or that special event, not wanting for something to be over and so on. Your thoughts are either in the future or in the past. This way of thinking allows your mind to steal your time.

Become present by practicing mindful photography

Mindful photography is a form of active meditation, it opens one to the world and becomes a tool for learning, self-reflection and the possibility to share what you have seen, felt and learned. The mindful photographer starts to see things and the world differently, starts to see what was kept hidden from his awareness.

Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present, deliberately and without judging the experience.

Mindfulness has found great results in research

According to studies, practicing mindfulness may have a variety of health benefits, including the ability to manage discomfort, strengthen your immune system, break free from bad habits and addictions, sleep better, lower blood pressure, and even alter the shape and function of your brain.

Other benefits of practicing Mindfulness

  • Increased calm and relaxation

  • Increased self-confidence and self-acceptance

  • Higher levels of energy in the body

  • Enthusiasm for being alive

  • Reduces stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain

  • Helps to break bad habits and thought patterns

  • Increased self-compassion and compassion for others

Taking pictures happens within the fabric of the ongoing moment

When photographers take their cameras out into the world, they strive to maintain a basic attentiveness in the present moment, see the overlooked, and translate that seeing into a compelling photograph through mindfulness. A joyful state of pure awareness arises.

The mindful photographer needs to slow down. No drive-by shooting. No distractions. Fully dedicate some time to the act of taking pictures. Don't rush, find your own rhythm. Most importantly: follow your intuition.

When our thoughts wander around past events or worries about the future, we tend to get trapped in negative emotions and become anxious. When we engage in the present moment through mindfulness we experience more calm, ease and peace.

Three practices you can adopt today to become a mindful photographer

  • Mindful walk with (phone)camera

Head out for a walk around your home. Your camera is your walking companion. Get yourself in the beginners mind, like you see everything for the first time, almost like being in a new neighborhood. What do you see? What details capture your attention? What smells do you smell? What's the weather like? How does it make you feel? Walk slowly and mindfully. Take your time. Intuitively take photos along the way.

  • Mindful walk without (phone)camera

Repeat the walk, this time without your camera. What changes do you notice? How does your awareness change? Are there elements you now notice that you didn't before? Use your sight as a camera, take pictures in your head!

  • Cover your view-finder/ turn down the luminosity of your screen

This practice focuses on your feelings in the moment. Normally you would take your camera and frame the subject/scenery you'd like to photograph. This time you take the photos without seeing what you frame. You trust your intuition and sense of orientation. How does this feel to you? Not having full control over the outcome? How are the outcomes different from what you would have seen if you had been looking through the camera?

Reflect upon your experiences and keep a journal. Notice the changes that might occur after some weeks into the practice. What did change? How did the practice improve your life? I'll be happy to read about your story in the comment section.


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