April 18

The Art of Living In The Present Through Mindfulness

Nothing beats the mind that is open to life when it happens and this is what makes mindfulness a necessary tool towards creating your new reality. We grow through understanding and awareness, factors that allow each and every person to recreate both their personal and professional lives. Mindfulness is defined as an effort one makes to be continuously present with experience. It entails paying attention on purpose and without passing judgment on the thoughts, feelings and external events. Purposefulness is considered a very essential part of mindfulness as it is exactly what redirects the mind to events and experiences of the present moment.

When you are not in control then the mind wanders through all kinds of thoughts and in most cases they are the kind that are distractive including thoughts of anger, regrets, and self-pity. By maintaining these very thoughts we bring out emotions that cause us so much inner suffering. It always helps to understand that the past is already gone, the future is undetermined and the only time we are sure of is the present so make the best out of it.  Getting caught in thoughts about your past failures only kills your motivation and enthusiasm about life. Actually, a big part of mindfulness works on increasing an individual’s positivity as you will be purposefully directing your awareness away from negative thoughts and emotions.

While in the state of mindfulness you will not be labeling anything as good or bad but rather noticing them and simply letting them go. An individual is aware that there are pleasant and unpleasant experiences but doesn’t react to them on an emotional level. Practicing mindfulness will help you maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of your feelings, bodily sensations, thoughts and surrounding environment and you do that with acceptance.

By practicing mindfulness, you achieve physical, psychological and emotional benefits, all of which are linked to an improved and more fulfilling life. In my research on mindfulness, I read something that made it quite appealing. This went in the words of, mindfulness is not just about being in the present but rather living your life as if it mattered, moment by moment. True to the thought of Abraham Lincoln, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Lack of mindfulness is when you spend hours with family and friends and in the end notice, you remember nothing that was said or that you contributed to the conversation. There are also times when we drive to a place but on arrival, you notice there is nothing you remember about the whole journey. I am sure you are slowly nodding to that because these are very common experiences. If only you had made an effort to be there both emotionally and mentally when hanging out with family and friends then you would have felt better about yourself and life general. Your journey would have been more interesting and fulfilling if you were present with it, kept your mind on the environment around as you moved. This is pretty much living on autopilot and that will mean failing to notice life’s beauty, failing to hear what your body tries to tell you and being stuck in limited ways of thinking.

It is at times difficult for some people to exercise mindfulness because we lack full control over our thoughts and emotions. It is a simple practice as a big part of it entails informing your conscience that enough is enough and making an effort to always be present and not imprisoned by thoughts of the past and future. There are however so many benefits that come with mindfulness, and thus more reason for you to have the right tips in mind that will help you live more mindfully. These are as explained below:

1. Being Grateful

Gratitude counts as a very important aspect when it comes to being mindful as it includes appreciating what you already have. This means that it brings your focus to the present time as you will be keener on letting life pass you by without embracing it. When you are grateful for who you are and what you have you are less likely to start thinking of how bad your past was or be worried about the future. Gratitude changes so much in a person’s life including your view and approach towards life. This is mainly because it allows you to always be thankful for the things you have in life no matter how bad situations seem. One can easily maintain gratitude by having a gratitude journal where you can write ten things that you are grateful for every morning and at night.

2. Control Your Thoughts

Mindfulness is pretty much about bringing your thoughts in the present and that means trying to always be in control which makes the practice easier. This is made possible if you try to be present with what you are thinking at all times. Notice all the negative and positive thoughts that come to mind and try to maintain the ones that increase positivity in your life. Whenever you notice any thoughts of worry lingering in your mind, then let them go gently and try to be more present with life.

3. Do Nothing For Some Ten Minutes

Another easy way for one to make mindfulness effective is to always create some time every day to just sit in silence. This time should be spent being aware of and noticing all that occurs around and inside you. It trains you to be more comfortable with the stillness and silence that comes with you not having to worry about your past or future. The more you maintain this habit the easier it will be for you to control your or watch your thoughts and feelings which is exactly what contributes to effective mindfulness. When one takes time away from their busy life they reach deep into their inner-self and can, therefore, attain relaxation of both mind and heart. It is also considered an opportunity for you to finally let go and gives one so much control.

4. Develop Concentration

In mindfulness, one needs to have a high concentration level as it is through it that they gain control over what they think about or focus on. Trying harder to concentrate on the things that you are doing will train you to always be present with both your thoughts and feelings. Every time you are working on any task make sure that you have your entire mind on it. Notice every progress being made and every step being taken and this will allow you to bring all your attention to the present moment. If you are for example eating or performing any other household task then be keen with every movement and how you feel throughout the task. Concentrating helps an individual to let go of any depressing thoughts and feelings as it increases their level of awareness. You will also realize that with time you start feeling less worried or stressed out because you are more mindful. There is also the fact that with improved concentration, one can easily put more focus on practicing mindfulness which means they can easily notice when the mind strays.

5. Embrace the idea of mindfulness

The only way for an individual to appreciate and enjoy a certain exercise is by embracing it or simply being aware of its benefits. This works by changing your mindset and it will make the exercise easier. Whenever an individual thinks of something as beneficial then they are motivated to actually make it a part of their daily routine. It is much about creating a positive attitude and the whole practice won’t feel like a difficult task for you. Knowing that mindfulness goes a long way into improving your general health and wellbeing gives you more reason to practice it often.

6. Don’t Be Judgmental

One important aspect of mindfulness is the ability to watch your thoughts, feelings and external environment without labeling them as good or bad. This is meant to ensure that no negativity is built once one tries to be present with life. It teaches you to be more accepting and understanding and thus makes it easy for you to always let go of thoughts or feelings that destroy rather than build you. One needs to be the kind of person who faces reality with an open mind and heart and are always ready to accept change whenever it occurs.

7. Watch Your Breath

Another effective way for anyone to practice mindfulness is by watching their breath, feeling each inhalation and exhalation. This is actually what makes up for mindfulness meditation and it allows one to take their mind off their past or future. By watching and acknowledging every breath you are also creating general mind and body relaxation which is necessary for mindfulness practice. It is also considered an easy way to increase concentration level because you actually have something the mind can be fully present with. What one simply does is stop themselves from focusing on a task at hand and just follow their breath with mindfulness. Doing this will ultimately quiet the mind and you enjoy the benefits of being mindful.




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