Here are some ideas on how to to bring a little more mindfulness into your daily life so you can be happier and more successful.
If you have looked into mindfulness before, then you will already likely know about the many benefits of it. This ancient practice can be boiled down to simply paying more attention to what is going on in and around you.
It is something that we can each practice every day, and doing so can lead to some profound beneficial changes for all of us. Even if you think you are probably already pretty mindful, the great thing about it is that it can always improve – you can always tune up your mindfulness, and doing so will always help you out in some way or another.
In this article, we are going to take a look at mindfulness on the whole. Basically we will be looking at some ideas on how you might be able to bring a little more mindfulness into your daily life.
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With this in mind, coming up I will be sharing some empowering information about mindfulness!
So let’s start now – and take a look at how to incorporate mindfulness into your life.
What Is Mindfulness?
Before we dive into how to bring more mindfulness into your life, it’s important that we are actually able to define it first. Frankly, most of what people call mindfulness in the West is something else entirely. And that is just part of what happens when a concept gets translated into a new culture.
True mindfulness is about being able to pay attention to what is going on in the present moment with a fullness of mind. You need equal parts concentration, clarity and equanimity. If you can develop those qualities, then you are able to be mindful.
The thing about mindfulness is that it doesn’t require that a particular activity is taking place in order for you to practice it. It is the very nature of it that you can bring it to bear on any situation you might find yourself in. Once you are practiced in it, mindfulness becomes an automatic way of life, something that you just do automatically and which you find brings you huge benefits at the same time.
So what might those benefits be? Why should you bother to be more mindful in your daily life? One of the best reasons is that you are going to be able to pay more attention to the moment-by-moment reality of what your life really is.
If you are constantly lost in thought about the future or the past, then you are not really living – you’re just thinking about living.
This is the state that most people are stuck in most of their lives, and it seems fine until something happens that causes you to realize that it’s actually a dead-end way of approaching life.
On the other hand, with mindfulness, you are going to be more engaged with the reality of your life, more fully present, and more capable of making better decisions. You can develop the ability to stop yourself going down mental routes you would rather not take, gain the option to keep your emotions level in tough situations, and generally enjoy a more powerful and better-working mind.
These are significant benefits, and they are available to all, just by spending some time purposefully paying attention.
So how do you know if you are being mindful or not? One answer is that it just becomes obvious by the way that you do it, and it’s the kind of thing you will get a feel for over time. But in general, you know you are being mindful if things are not really all that surprising to you. If you are able to keep your cool no matter what is going on, the extent to which you can do that is an indication of your mindfulness ability.
If you are aware of what the mind is doing as it goes from this to that, then this is more or less the definition of good, strong mindfulness. At the same time, having an awareness of the various sensations in the body is the other side of the coin, and just as important. So if you have these going on, you know that you are being mindful, and that your mindfulness ability will be increasing and strengthening as time goes on, the more that you practice.
One of the most effective ways to bring more mindfulness into your daily life is to start up a daily meditation practice. Although meditation and mindfulness are distinct, they are also both interrelated, and it’s important that you are going to make use of one for the benefit of the other. Carrying out a daily mindfulness meditation is a great way to ensure that you are building the necessary skills to be mindful in daily life as you go about your business.
This is doable for most people, although it might also be a bit of a challenge. Your aim should be to sharpen up the mind first by focusing on the breath for a while, and then you can simply sit and allow thoughts to come and go. The whole point is to keep watch over the ocean of your whole mind without interrupting it or trying to change it. Watch a thought arise, hang around for a while, and then disappear. This is the basic practice.
Over time, you might want to increase your meditation session at five minute intervals, until you are eventually going 40 minutes or more of meditation. By this point, you will find that your mindfulness is quite strong and that it is improving many areas of your life, so the motivation will become stronger to practice too.
As promised earlier, we are now going to look into how you might be able to bring mindfulness to your daily life. Ideally, you will get to a point where you are applying mindfulness to more or less every part of your life, and that will bring about some huge and profound changes the more effectively and fully that you do it. But what is the basic practice for ensuring that you are bringing mindfulness to every area of your life?
One way to think of this is as a kind of ultimate non-avoidance.
There are so many areas where we tend to hide away or not want to look at something. You might find yourself avoiding a medical issue, for instance, even if it is causing you pain. But with mindfulness, you will be much more likely to do what you need to do – book in that virtual doctors visit, go to the pharmacist, or whatever it is you need to do. It’s about not ignoring your problems, but facing up to them with bravery.
Beyond that, to bring mindfulness to every area of your life is not to consider some parts of your life as beyond it. In other words, if you find yourself thinking that there are certain things which are not spiritual and don’t need to be attended to, that is generally not the mindful approach that we are talking about here. This is about going fully into all that is going on for you, whatever that might be.
As you might imagine, it can actually be quite difficult to do this at first, and it takes a lot of practice for most people. But the benefits are so profound that it’s absolutely worth doing.
There are certainly useful and less-than-useful approaches to mindfulness, and it’s a good idea to try and make sure that you are developing the right mindset for your mindfulness practice to ensure that you can make the most of it. For instance, it’s important that you are not trying to rush anything – this is generally a long, slow process for everyone, so that’s okay if that is true for you too. You should also not be hard on yourself if you are finding it difficult – ultimately, you need to try and forgive yourself for this. And you will find that trying too hard actually works against you, so try to be a little more relaxed about being mindful if you can.
If you can remember that, and keep trying diligently – if gently – then you will find that you are becoming much more mindful in your daily life. Before you know it, the benefits will present themselves, and you will be singing mindfulness’ praises to people. It’s truly amazing.
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