We tell ourselves many things; our thoughts are constantly racing in this fast-paced life. We all have felt exhaustion and difficulty shutting down our brains from the constant messages they send to us. In this conundrum and bombardment of information via a plethora of mediums, we are left anxious and overwhelmed.
And to top it off, we lie to ourselves, lie daily, and tell ourselves we are “fine” when we are not close. We aren’t familiar with ourselves and in tune with our feelings like the generations that preceded us.
So what do we do to become more mindful?
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”Jon Kabat-Zinn
Let’s get things into perspective.
Our present is all we have; what’s to come and what has gone aren’t in our control; living in the present, feeling the emotions in the present, and embracing the present is the only way to satisfaction. Only a calm mind and soul can experience life to its fullest.
So what is all this ‘mindfulness’ jabber we hear and read about so often these days? Does it help? How do you know if you are or aren’t mindful? These are some of the questions you will get answers to in this post.
The meaning of mindfulness
Mindfulness, in simple words, is the act of bringing your attention to what’s in the present; in other words, being “mindful” of your surroundings. Imagine pushing every thought and worry into the background and focusing on what’s happening around you at a particular moment.
“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”Thích Nhất Hạnh
Hearing the noises in the surrounding, the birds chirping, the whistles or noises from the street, the subtle breeze, the expansion and contraction of your lungs, getting in tune with how your clothes feel on your body, or how the sun rays feel on your skin, how cooling it is to close your eyes.
Mindfulness comprises meditation that enables one to increase concentration on what one wants to focus on. Just soaking in every little thing around you, it’s no doubt that people are initially surprised by how much they miss the obvious details in their surroundings. When you’re focused on the present, you will gain clarity of what truly is your prime concern because those thoughts will try to creep in most often and with great intensity.
“Meditation is the Ultimate Mobile Device, you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobstrusively”Sharon Salzberg
How mindfulness helps
We all want control; the best, most satisfactory control is over our mind, body, and spirit. By practicing mindfulness, you can zone out of the troubles and into a land of the present, where there’s much to take in and less that will bother you. It will enable you to be grateful for your senses that help in the process; it will help you understand life from a broader perspective.
The fact is that things aren’t how they appear; problems aren’t big as they seem, and people aren’t bad as they portray themselves. We have power over all of these things, and how we control our minds reflects how we deal with our surroundings.
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”Jon Kabat-Zinn
The beauty of mindfulness is that it will open your senses to what was with you, but you never felt, feeling your body movements when you walk slowly, just proceeding forward because YOU CAN, to hear the flaps of a bird’s wings, to see colors you missed, etc. makes you feel alive. And what more does a human being want than to feel alive in its true sense, not the biological, heart-beating-lungs-breathing sense?
Implementing a mindful change through tech
So you’ve made your decision to feel alive; what’s next?
You can take advantage of your smartphones and download apps like Breethe and Aura, which are available for iOS and Android.
There are videos on Youtube that guide you through several minutes of mindfulness.
Below are a few of our favorite and top mindfulness youtube channels:
- Mindfulness 360 – Center For Mindfulness
- Mrs Mindfulness
- Mindful Music
- The Mindful Movement
- Rebekah Borucki
You can also read books if that’s what you fancy.
Here is a couple of mindfulness books that are on our reading list:
- The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day
by Andy Puddicombe
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self – Help That Actually Works – A True Story
by Dan Harris
- Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World
by Mark Williams, Danny Penman
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
by Dr. Kristin Neff
There are more such popular Mindfulness books, which you can add to your reading list.
If you are social media junkie and want your mindfulness inspiration to come from Twitter and Instagram, you can find some really great people on there too!
Mindfulness and Meditation Leaders you should follow.
Below are a few from the huge list we have:
- Dalai Lama
- Tiny Buddha
- Rumi (alal ad-Din Muhammad R)
- Thich Nhat Hanh
- Daily Zen
- Quiet Mind Meditation
- Rebel Buddha
- Global Meditation
A little motivation to stay mindfulâ€¦
Anyone who has practiced mindfulness even once, in a casual workshop held by a psychologist or a trained Mindfulness instructor, will never forget the experience. But it takes dedication to stick to it and make it a habit; it’s a lifestyle change that needs to happen to show long-term results, truly, and regularly.
No one could go without the benefits that mindfulness gives us; we humans aren’t made to be living the robotic lives we have become accustomed to. We can only be the best versions of ourselves if we are in touch with ourselves and the capacity we hold!