The Concept Of Mindfulness
For a relatively new term that Mindfulness certainly is, its popularity grows and spreads very fast. Only, a few years ago this idea was exclusively related to Buddhist traditions. Then, the traditional practice has been modified for practical use in Psychotherapy, more precisely for mindfulness-based therapy. In both cases, the purpose of this practice was and still is to pay complete attention to the present moment. It’s this particular way of embracing the imperfection of here-and-now without judging it. Mindfulness means acceptance. Being mindful means this particular use of attention and awareness on purpose with the goal of experiencing the authenticity of the present moment. It’s a personal journey to learn the mystery of human life. It’s a path we choose to understand the real meaning of human existence. And finally, mindfulness it’s the way to connect with your higher self. A particular state of consciousness that can change your life forever. This is the mystical experience of absolute trust and radical acceptance.
Mindfulness Is An Answer
The growing popularity of Mindfulness in the western world over the past few years is quite impressive. This phenomenon is closely related to an increasing need to experience the authenticity of the present moment in this frantic world where we are slowly losing even the ability to breathe properly. If breathing wasn’t an involuntary action primary regulated by the part of the brain we would literally suffocate somewhere along the way. I don’t know about you, but I’m terrified of this addiction for faster living which seems to be the world’s most common addiction. As more and more people realize that this is nothing more than a downward spiral, a kind of lifestyle that leads to self-destruction they chose to slow down the speed of life they live. This is a matter of survival. The matter of maintaining mental and physical well-being.
At some point or another, we become aware that we don’t appreciate at all this precious gift that life really is. Somewhere in this pursuit of so-called success and today’s idea of perfect happiness, we lose the sole purpose of our existence. Life is meant to be lived. Many times we forget about this. Instead, we are constantly analyzing past events or planning our future completely forgetting that life is now and here. The past is history and the future is uncertain. So maybe, it’s a high time to redirect your focus on the present moment, the only moment that is real and authentic. The only moment you can take a deep breath in. So don’t miss this.
Live As You Only Have Today
Constantly dissociated from the present moment but fully convinced that it’s not true we try to keep up this incredibly exaggerated speed of life, a completely inhumane one. That’s why when we have a chance to just stop for a second and look at our life from another perspective we feel confused and completely burned out. Our addiction to faster living contributes to the state of being overworked, overtired, overwhelmed and constantly stressed out. And what’s the point? Seriously, what is the real point of living this way? It’s an unlived life. It’s an irreversibly lost opportunity which we won’t get again. Just ask yourself a simple question. Have you ever been so exhausted that you couldn’t fall asleep? Have you ever been too tired to be able to relax? Didn’t it surprise you? How can it even be possible? It’s plain absurd. At least for me. But until recently it was my everyday reality. Until I decided to make a change. I cleansed myself of the unattentive, unconscious and just ignorant way of living. I am not saying that I am always paying attention to the present moment and my focus is always directed at here and now but I’m learning. Every day is the next day of my journey. I’ve made a choice to live a mindful life, to be grateful for every single moment of it, to appreciate everything I get and I can give. I chose to live an authentic life without constantly making excuses and looking for someone to blame for my mistakes and bad decisions. I chose to dedicate my life to the pursuit of the real purpose, completely mine. The one that brought me here.
Mindfulness Is A Superpower
Mindfulness is a new perspective. It’s the ability to understand your feelings, emotions, and thoughts that come to you every second of your life. Being mindful is a mental state of awareness and a profound sense of living your own life. This state of consciousness is incredibly empowering because it gives meaning to life. It’s about giving yourself permission to feel and experience the authenticity of life. It’s great if not the only way to reconnect with your higher self. It’s an incredible possibility to listen to your inner voice that speaks only truth and is always right. We make mistakes and bad decisions only when we try to silence them. Without any exception. Because within every one of us, there is the core of our being. It’s right where physics meets metaphysics… At least, it’s my personal understanding of life. If I am right and practicing Mindfulness gives us really this opportunity to live in the present moment and make literally the most of it in terms of the human existence we should give it a try. Don’t you think? Because if there is nothing to lose but everything to gain it means it’s worth it.
Mindfulness Equals Self-Care
Being mindful means being fully present. And being fully present equals effective self-care. Furthermore, it means getting into the habit of effective self-management that contributes to personal growth. For that particular reason, it is important to incorporate mindfulness into daily life. Even if this concept is completely new to you, don’t be intimidated by this. The whole idea of practicing mindfulness may seem complicated but everything you have to do is to start. Just it. The mindful way of living is at hand. Find a couple of minutes during the day only for yourself and enjoy the present moment.
How To Start Practicing Mindfulness
First of all, don’t stress out. If you’re about to start to mindfulness journey you should know that it will be challenging especially if this concept is completely new to you. But here are some simple ways to start practicing mindfulness on daily basis.
Mindful breathing exercises have a variety of benefits. Since we can control and regulate our breath we can use a simple act of inhaling and exhaling as a powerful tool in reducing stress, anxiety or getting rid of negative emotions like anger or frustration. Focusing on your breath can also improve your attention, concentration, and self-awareness. What I love the most about mindful breathing exercises is that you can do it everywhere, you don’t need to sit in a lotus position and meditate for 1 hour straight. Just find a few minutes for yourself during the day, find a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath. It may seem a little strange at first, especially if you’ve never tried mindful breathing exercises but I am sure that you will get used to it before you know it.
Just close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths… inhale positive energy and exhale the negative one you have in your body. Breath in through your nose and breath out through the mouth. Repeat this for a couple of minutes and you will probably notice a positive effect of simple breathing exercises.
The fact is that we don’t pay much attention to the world around us. Because we get easily distracted by thoughts, feelings, emotions or memories we slowly lose our ability to focus on the elements of our environment and what is even sadder we fail to notice small acts of beauty and kindness that happen all the time.
Mindful focus exercises are designed to learn to notice, observe and appreciate seemingly simple things. If you try for a moment to redirect your focus on one thing without judging it you will probably notice how distracted and disconnected from the reality you really are.
Try to redirect your attention to one single thing, it can be anything, your pen, your coffee mug or one element from the natural environment and observe it carefully. How does it look like? Can you see the details? Did you notice anything new? Strange feeling, right?
Find a couple of minutes during your busy day and just try to pay attention to the beauty that surrounds you. Reconnect with your environment, appreciate the world around you, relax and feel gratitude.
As human beings, we constantly struggle with acceptance. When things don’t turn out the way we expect we become angry and frustrated, forgetting that we cannot control everything. We chose to ignore or fight against unpleasant feelings and intrusive thoughts knowing exactly how it will end for us. Well, the result is always the same – suffering and frustration. Moreover, we lose unnecessarily our time and energy for things that are beyond our control. In moments like this, it’s important to tell yourself that sometimes things just happen, people behave differently than we would expect them to and it’s ok. It’s just how it is. The sooner you adopt this mindset the easiest handling unpleasant and unwanted things will become. It’s not, Of course, it won’t happen immediately, because mindful acceptance is a mental process. It’s a journey that takes time, effort and patience but it’s worth it.
We often forget about the importance of gratitude taking everything we have for granted. Sometimes we don’t even realize how lucky we are because we are too busy to even notice that. That’s why it is so important to take some time every single day for appreciating what we have: life, love, health and endless opportunities to grow. Just look around and think about the number of things you can be thankful for. Think about all the people you love and care about. Remember that nothing is granted and nothing will last forever. Don’t let the idiom “we never miss a good thing till gone” be your life guidance. Being grateful means appreciate life and return the kindness. It means being thankful and lives a meaningful life. Being grateful means being a human being. These are the reasons why practicing mindful gratitude should be a part of everyone’s daily routine.
Have you ever noticed the difference between verbs “to hear” and “to listen”? “To hear” means to perceive a sound without necessarily paying attention to what is being said and “to listen” means to pay attention to what is being said, on the meaning of words that someone is saying.
Mindful listening is listening with a purpose of understanding another person without making any judgments. It’s about a real, authentic human connection based on empathy, compassion, and attention. Mindful listening exercises are designed to deepen relationships, improve your focus, develop communication skills and self-awareness. Stay with the sounds and listen intently. Even silence is a sound.
Have you ever tried a body scan meditation? It’s a powerful component of mindfulness practice designed to develop self-awareness. In particular, it’s a way to get in touch with your body. A way to narrow your complete attention to the one part of the body to move to the other part right after that. Body scan meditation practice improves the ability to move the attention up or down to the body. It trains your mind to switch your focus from detailed to the wider one. For me personally, this kind of meditation keeps me grounded and makes me feel connected with my body in a whole new level, an authentic one. We tend to forget that our body is not composed only of the brain and all the rest understood as a unitary whole.
If you’ve never done a body scan meditation you should definitely try this! Just find a couple of minutes during the day, find a comfortable position, relax and start practicing.
Have fun and feel free to share your personal experience!
Take care. Stay positive. Be mindful.