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Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental awareness of our thoughts, feelings, sensations and environment from one moment to the next.
I think a lot of people immediately, and maybe even unconsciously, tense up when they hear the word “mindfulness.” Perhaps envisioning a traditional form of mindfulness meditation practice where one dedicates time to sit quietly with legs crossed and palms facing up. Obviously that type of practice exists and I think it’s great, but there are many different types of meditation practice. Don’t allow just one to dissuade you from the practice as a whole.
Mindfulness has also been proven to improve our overall well–being, physical health and mental health.
Practicing mindfulness may seem a bit daunting. Or you may feel as though you simply don’t have time to dedicate to it. But adding mindfulness to our everyday routines is efficient, we don’t have to allocate any extra time unless we want to. Mindfulness can also act as a coping tool, keeping our minds from past or future worries, and instead focusing them on the present. Mindfulness can benefit everyone.
Your Mind Will Wander
For most of us, when we attempt to learn how to do something new, it takes practice. Few of us get it on our first attempts. Sure, it can be frustrating. But if we want the benefit we keep at it, even when it’s hard. The same thing goes for mindfulness. My mind wanders. It chases thoughts down rabbit holes and I have to refocus it over and over again. Sometimes I get frustrated and say “that’s enough mindfulness for the day!” And that’s okay.
Did I fail in any way? Heck no! In fact, I grew. I tried something new, something that is good for me and grows me. And I learned from it. I did better than I did yesterday. Sounds like a win to me!
If you start to beat yourself up…
Mindfulness may come easily to you. It may take lots of practice for you to get the hang of it. Or you may decide that mindfulness isn’t for you. But no matter what, it’s okay. Just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean you have to also. Do you. If you start to beat yourself, stop for a second. Look at the big picture and put things into perspective. It’s almost funny isn’t it… How unimportant the ability to master mindfulness is in the scheme of things? Ask yourself what you’re good at and what you do well? Write it down. Take it easy on yourself.
ADD MINDFULNESS TO YOUR ROUTINE!
Start by simply making a conscious decision to be present & “in the moment.” Stay focused in the present moment only. There’s no dwelling on the past nor future. With complete acceptance, become aware of your thoughts, feelings, & bodily sensations. There’s no judgment, as there’s no right nor wrong way to think or feel. When your mind begins to wander, which it will, gently refocus → without judgment. Oh yeah, no more multi-tasking! Focus on one task at a time. “Single-tasking” allows us to be more present & has been proven to be more efficient anyhow.
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Do you practice mindfulness? What techniques do you use?