In recent years, the term ‘mindfulness’ has sprung up in business, spiritual and mental health practices. Very rarely does a concept run into all three aspects mentioned. What should this say to you the reader? Not only does this speak for importance of the practice, but this should also provide a cue for the skeptic and the hopeless. For this very reason, we at the Meehel Foundation, are extremely excited to give you an insight into the practice of mindful living; with the hope that you too, can achieve both peace and overcome negative behaviors in your life!
The concept of mindfulness can be confusing at first. Thus, I think it would be best to start at the basics. What does mindfulness mean? The Greater Good a resource released by University of California Berkeley defines mindfulness as, “…maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.” You’re probably wondering, does attaining moment-by-moment awareness really benefit your life. To that I say, how can the practice of mindfulness not help you? Mindfulness improves your well-being, physical health and your mental health. For today’s discussion lets focus on the benefits that affect your well-being and mental health.
When you practice mindfulness, you are able to enjoy the little things in life and relieve stress. This leads to finding more joy and living more passionately. Also, it helps treat depression. Which enables you to hold deeper relationships and obtain more positive perspectives when adversity appears. I would be remiss not to mention the disorders, and life altering addictions that can be treated with the practice of mindfulness; such as, substance abuse, anxiety, eating, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Think of the possibilities that could come from a technique that is both free and available to you 24/7!
Now that you are excited about the possibility of changing your life for the best, and ready to put this practice into good use… let’s learn how to include self-compassion, non-judgement, and personal acceptance techniques into your daily life. Here it is in one word, meditation.
Some people find the idea of meditation daunting. Although, it’s quite simple and you have more than likely, mediated, in one form or another, in your life. Have you ever just stopped what you are doing, and considered a thought? Yes, all the time? Well you are halfway there. Now, all you have to do is hold on to those thoughts and notice your physical sensations.
To begin sit up right, either on a chair or a cushion on the floor in a quiet relaxing space. Breathe in deeply and slowly. Pay attention to your breath. Feel the air enter your chest and release up through your throat and out your mouth. Do this repeatedly. You will begin to feel a sense of peace and calm. I would relate this feeling to the sensation of floating on your back in the water. Since both activities require you too simply, let go.
As your breathing begins to feel steady, listen to each individual thought, as if you are eavesdropping. Remember, it may only last a second or minute at first, but don’t quit, judge or get down on yourself, it takes time. When you lose your breath or mental awareness, simply start over. You can begin with meditating two to three minutes, once or twice a day. When you start to feel more comfortable, increase your practice. The point is to make this a habit. Eventually, you will be able to do this automatically, in social situations, and in moving meditations.
Please note, that this is but one way and others are available to suit your personal needs and give you the greatest results; and with a consistent mindful practice, that is exactly what you will get, results. Lastly, if there is one thing that we hope you will remember from this discussion- is that when you train your mind and observe your thoughts, you can control your reactions and remove anger. You can change your behavior and find peace in your life. Dr. Wayne Dyer says it perfectly, “peace is an inside job.” So remember be aware of your thoughts, sensations, and accept yourself in this very moment. With great certainty, I can tell you… you are not your past, you are not your future. You are this, right now! Right where you are supposed to be!
- Sources are backlinked for proper citation and online sharing possibilities
- APA Citations are noted below:
- Mindfulness Definition. (2015). Retrieved July 22, 2015, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition
- Benefits of Mindfulness. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2015, from https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness.htm
- 3 Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness Now! (2015, May 19). Retrieved July 22, 2015, from https://www.habitsforwellbeing.com/3-simple-ways-to-practice-mindfulness-now/
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