Although mindfulness seems self-explanatory, my guess is that you’re here because you want to know what mindfulness actually IS and how it can impact your life. Mindfulness is a practice. There is no failing and no two journeys will look alike. This is important to remember when beginning a journey to mindful living. I’d also wager a bet that you’ve heard a time or two (million) that mindset is everything. In my opinion, mindfulness and mindset go hand-in-hand. So let me break it down for you. I’ll share the knowledge I’ve learned during my own mindfulness journey and how the two relate.
Mindfulness is bringing awareness to your attention and accepting the present moment without judgement. I also recently heard it described by Leah Weiss on The Goal Digger podcast as “the intentional use of attention”. I thought that was a beautiful way to describe it. I’ll link the podcast at the end of this post.
Mindfulness is technically a Buddhism concept and is typically paired with meditation in a “mindfulness meditation” practice. In more recent years, it’s evolved into a concept that plays along more with mindset. Now don’t let the mention of meditation scare you away from trying mindfulness in your life though. While meditation has its own benefits and can create more positive shifts in your life, it’s okay to take this journey one step at a time.
Our brains are powerful objects in that they can be re-programmed. We have the ability make wanted change using mindfulness. Being mindful does not change who we are, but allows us change how we perceive certain situations. Becoming aware allows us to take more actionable steps in our responses. But how does this apply to real life?
EXAMPLES OF MINDFULNESS IN ACTION
Now that you know what mindfulness is, you are likely wondering how it looks when applied in your every day life. Keep in mind this will look differently from person to person. I’ve included examples of three common internal struggles where mindfulness can be implemented.
As a parent, you might have a tendency of reacting a certain way when your child does something that upsets you. When you bring mindfulness in as a tool, you are able to better take control of the situation. Mindfulness brings more clarity. This allows to become aware of the present moment, giving yourself the opportunity and choice to react more empathetically.
Maybe poor money management has you discouraged. Do you find yourself saying things like “I just wish I could actually build a savings”?. If you can allow yourself to be “intentionally aware” of your decision making process when it comes to financial decisions, you will likely find yourself buying less and eliminating unnecessary spending.
Mindful Health & Weight
As women, I think this one hits home most of all. Society has lead us to believe we need to look a certain way. Because of that, at some point in our lives, we’ve wanted to “be skinnier”, “be fit” or “be healthier”. Every winter, crash diets ensue to become “summer body ready” so we have confidence in a swim suit. When winter rolls around again, we fall victim to our old winter habits because that’s what we do. A permanent change rather than a temporary fix sounds dreamy, but no one has created that magic product yet. But what if you didn’t need that magic product. What if you were always summer body ready because mindfulness changed the way you perceived your approach to overall wellness?
A POSITIVE MINDEST USING MINDFULNESS
Humans are creatures of habit. Habits are created to make us comfortable in our everyday life. Many of these habits are negative and influenced by who we surround ourselves with and how we were raised. Negativity is like a magnet that we can’t deflect from because the strength is just too powerful. Despite the stress that comes from the negative force field, the vicious cycle of negativity is perpetuated.
These habits that give comfort have also created limiting beliefs in our subconscious mind. It’s our duty to ourselves to address these limiting beliefs by bringing awareness and allowing ourselves to make necessary changes which give us the power to fly to our highest potential. However, in order to create positive change in our lives, we need to work on creating a positive mindset in our every day living. This is where MINDFULNESS comes into play.
If an effort is made to bring mindfulness into our daily choices and activities, we will have the ability to slowly shape the positive mindset needed to manifest positive outcomes and reach our GOALS and DREAMS. Mindfulness and mindset then feed off of each other. In time when you reflect back after some time has passed, you tell yourself “Whoa! I can’t believe all that I have done…but I’m not done yet!”
This is just the beginning when implementing a mindfulness practice. The work is never finished. But life is too good when you live in the present moment, rather than in the past or future worrying about “what if’s”. Mindfulness lets you gain control of your life. It’s work in the beginning as you train your conscious mind. Eventually your work becomes sub-conscious and is like driving a car or riding a bike. Most important of all, IT’S WORTH IT.
P.S. Here is the link to the Goal Digger Podcast I mentioned earlier.