Mindfulness Is A Journey
Lately, I’ve been talking to my best friend about my mindfulness journey. She wants to get started with mindfulness herself but she is too intimidated by meditation. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this and my answer is always the same. You just have to try. Don’t let the fear of failing to keep you from trying. Since mindfulness is a journey of personal growth you cannot fail. Because you design your journey no one else. I’m not saying it will be easy because it won’t. Hence, a transition is a complex and multidimensional process that consists of a variety of mental states you will just have to work them out. Some of them will be hard to deal with and others will be rather pleasurable but it’s just how life works. It’s never an easy ride.
As human beings, we are going to have all kinds of feelings and emotions in our lifetime because they are natural phenomena indicating human nature. Just as the weather indicates the power and ingenuity of nature. For that particular reason, emotions are often compared to the weather. And just like the weather, they are constantly changing. Especially if you’re going through a transitional state you should prepare yourself for the amazing mix of emotions. Be ready for extreme joy, excitement, fear, suffering, delusion, pain, anger, happiness and love. Be prepared for the state of great confusion and for the unconditional release. Since it will be a crazy roller coaster drive, a drive to scream put your seatbelt on, make yourself comfortable and take a deep breath. Well, maybe more than one. Open your eyes really wide and let yourself experience the authenticity of the present moment. Focus on here and now. From that moment on your incredible journey inside yourself begins. You’re about to discover yourself, your inner peace. Somewhere where physics meets metaphysics. Somewhere between the conscious and subconscious minds. Somewhere you’ve never been before. Trust me, you’d not want to leave this place.
But wait. First, we have to talk things over. I forgot to tell you that there are some rules you need to follow during your mindfulness journey. These rules are:
- Don’t let fear to hold you back.
- Accept that trying and failing is a part of the whole process.
- Use your mistakes to your advantage, improve and learn from them.
- Remember that you cannot predict the outcome of your mindfulness journey – live your experience.
- Accept that your effort and attitude determine everything – yes it’s up to you
All of these points that I mentioned represent a growth mindset that you need to adopt right away, at the beginning of this transitional process. Since mindfulness journey is a journey of personal growth it requires a particular mentality. As always, if we want to reach our goals and fulfill our potential we need to adopt the right attitude first. If we want to grow, improve ourselves and become the best version of ourselves we need to take a risk and challenge ourselves. We need to be prepared for change. All we have to do is to give up our desperate need for control of everything and keep creating better versions of yourself. It may seem strange but sometimes to lose balance for change is a part of a balanced life.
Well, this is basically what I’ve told my best friend during our conversation about how to start a mindfulness journey. Then I gave her some serious tips, tricks and healthy hacks that helped me to start with my own mindfulness journey that I continue every single day.
10 simple ways to bring mindfulness into your daily life.
Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life – Be Mindful Of Everyday Activities
Being mindful means this particular use of attention and awareness on purpose with the goal of experiencing the authenticity of the present moment.
During your daily routine try to put all your focus on a particular activity you’re engaging yourself in. Try to redirect your attention to one single thing, forget about multitasking for one moment and put complete attention to one, particular activity. Make the best of every single experience you have.
Use Mindfulness Apps
My favorite free Apps for mind, body, and spirit:
- Mindfully Me
- Stop, Breathe & Think
- Insight Timer
- Eternal Sunshine
- Monthly Cycles (Period Tracker)
- The Now
- Little Memory
Play With Your Senses
Our senses play a crucial role in practicing mindfulness because they bring us back to the present moment. If you tend to dissociate you probably know that the best way to fight with this sometimes unpleasant experience is to redirect your attention to here and now by using your senses. It can be easily done by simple sensory activities that improve mindfulness.
Do you remember the distinction between rationalism and empiricism as two completely different approaches to gain knowledge?
the practice or principle of basing opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response.
the theory that reason rather than experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge.
the practice of treating reason as the ultimate authority in religion.
the theory that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.
Here we will focus on an empirical approach to knowledge. Imagine that you are a child again and you discover and experience the world around you through your senses instead of using always and only your rational thought. Observe, touch, hear, smell, taste the world that surrounds you. Focus on sensory experience without judging it.
Write A Journal
Start a mindful journal – keeping a mindful diary or journal it’s a great mindfulness practice designed to observe and understand your emotions, feelings, and thoughts without judgment.
Writing is highly beneficial for mental well being because it keeps us grounded, helps us to set our goals, clear the mind, prioritize your life, get rid of negative emotions and improves creativity.
Manage Distractions – be fully present
Distractions will happen because it’s natural for the mind to drift away from the present moment to focus on some past events, future plans or even small seemingly unimportant things. But if you think that in your case distractions happen too often you can definitely work on it.
Don’t fight with distraction when it happens
Simply notice that your mind is drifting from the present moment
Try to redirect your focus on here and now – Redirect your attention to one single thing, it can be anything, your pen, your coffee mug or any other element from your environment and observe it carefully.
Then go back to what you’ve been doing before your mind got distracted
Guided Meditations – Guided meditations are highly beneficial for both mental and physical wellbeing. They are a powerful tool in building self-awareness, gaining a new perspective, reducing stress and anxiety, accepting your feeling and emotions without judging them, increasing creativity and motivation, connecting with your higher-self, establishing a healthy relationship with your self, creating a mind, body, and spirit balance
Breathing Exercises – 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.
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.
Nourish Your Mind, Body & Spirit
Create and adopt a healthy daily routine
Adopt a healthy, nutritious diet that works for you and treat yourself with healthy guilty pleasures
Work out on a daily basis – choose a physical activity that you will love practicing
Practice Mindfulness Meditation to nourish your soul
Feed your passion
Learn to relax
Take Care Of Your Physical & Mental Health
We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action but a habit.- Aristotle
We are creatures of habit and routine. We find comfort with regularity and consistency. Healthy habits help us to reach our goals and create the best version of ourselves because they improve our motivation, productivity, and performance.
In my opinion, to stay healthy mentally you need to adopt some kind of daily routine. Otherwise, it’s just sacrificing your sanity. And let me tell you, you cannot survive living day by day in a chaotic, unplanned manner. There is no way you can achieve anything this way. I’m sure about that because I tried it and I failed. If you build a good daily routine, adopt a schedule and set your goal structure, in this way you will find a real purpose in your life.
Connect With Nature
Mindful Nature Connection – connecting with nature on a daily basis is highly beneficial to both mental and physical health.
Go out, take a long walk, close your eyes and feel the warmth of the wind on your face, explore your connection with nature, observe and experience the beauty of the natural environment. Live this magical experience through all of your senses. Don’t judge just be fully present.
Learn To Relax
The biggest disease in today’s world is the addiction to faster living. We constantly try to convince ourselves and others that multitasking is not only possible but also quite efficient way of living. And the funny thing is that this assumption is completely false. We all know it but we don’t want to admit it even to ourselves.
Living in this frantic world and playing by today’s society rules kill our ability to relax, to live the present moment and to experience the beauty and authenticity of here and now.
So let’s stop for a second, take a deep breath and celebrate every single moment of our precious life.
If you’re not familiar with the Italian concept of “dolce far niente” it’s a high time to do that. Italian “dolce far niente” (eng. The sweetness of doing nothing) is a celebration of seemingly minor events which does not apply only for holidays but for every brief respite, you have during a busy day. It’s a particular mindset, a way of living, a way of enjoying life in the most authentic and honest way possible. It’s experiencing the present moment through all senses. Next time when you will be drinking your coffee, eating your lunch, listening to the music, reading a book or any kind of activity you do in your so-called free time make the best of this experience. Live truly and be fully present.
Be present. Be grateful. Be self-aware.