Mindfulness Will Change Your Life
Within an external world of chaos, implementing mindfulness practices can be instrumental in helping you find inner peace.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
As society moves forward in the technological evolution, there are new levels of distraction entering our lives every day. Within an external world of chaos, implementing mindfulness practices can be instrumental in helping you find inner peace. Mindfulness and meditation can have the stigma of inaccessibility to newbies, but the truth is, anyone has the power to step into this world at any time.
You might be wondering about the basics: what is mindfulness?
To put it simply, mindfulness is being fully present in the moment.
It sounds simple, but it is actually much more complicated than you might think. Becoming a mindful person is a practice, not an end goal. You know that voice inside of your head offering an unsolicited commentary of the external world you are experiencing?
“Wow, it is so hot in here. Did I remember to put deodorant on this morning?”
“That lady over there looks a lot like my high school English teacher. I wonder how she’s doing. She always wore the best shoes. Maybe I should get shoes like that.”
Whenever your mind runs off on a tangent like this, you are not being mindful nor present in the moment – you are trapped by your inner commentary. This is the same inner commentary that feeds you self-doubt and imposter syndrome every time you are near the edge of your comfort zone and are on the brink of greatness.
Taking control of your mind can be life-changing, allowing you to reach limits you never thought possible. If you have struggled to focus during meditation or are wanting tips to become more mindful in your own life, here is how:
Self-Care and Preparing for Mindfulness
Mental health, just like physical health, is a result of consistent, conscious work. You will not wake up one morning and be a master and meditating without distraction – it is a skill that must be developed. As you begin to implement mindfulness into your daily life, keep these things in mind:
1. You are not your thoughts
You experience your thoughts, but they do not define you. Your instant reactions to the events around you are driven by your past experiences, not necessarily by the truth. So, remember, whenever that negative self-talk may begin to arise, you can be a passive observer and let the thought pass, judgment-free.
2. Words can hurt
The way we communicate with ourselves and with others plays a massive role in influencing our emotions and mental health. For this reason, it is important to be conscious of the words we think and say.
For example, instead of saying: “I’m sorry for the delay.”
You can say: “Thank you so much for your patience.”
By creating an environment of positivity, you can influence your own emotions and the emotions of those around you by setting the tone.
3. Be kind to yourself
If you are trying to meditate for the first time and find yourself battling to focus, realize that you have already succeeded by choosing to dedicate the time to meditate today. As your mind wanders, realize that it is normal and that you can observe the thought without reacting to it emotionally. If you keep returning to your breath, over time, this status as a passive observer will become second nature.
4. Practice self-awareness
As much as we would like to pride ourselves on our ability to stay calm and collected, let’s be real – everyone has those moments where our emotions get the best of us. During this time, it is important that we are aware of how we feel so that we can return to a feeling of mindfulness and peace as soon as possible.
Additionally, we don’t want to let our own emotions negatively influence the lives of others. For this reason, if you are aware that you aren’t in the best mood, you can acknowledge that this wouldn’t be the best time for a crucial conversation with a loved one.
Being mindful of your mental state and maintaining a willingness to grow and improve in the future can drastically improve your relationship with the world around you. By being able to communicate with yourself and your inner needs, as well as being able to express your needs with the people around you that you care about, you can live a life of meaning and fulfillment. If you are curious, compassionate, and committed to your journey of mindfulness, you will be amazed by the level to which your life can improve. So, take care of yourself first,