Life is intense. I feel like nowadays is a norm to have a million and one projects going on, and you’re somewhat looked down if you don’t have a side hustle, let alone, being someone who runs nine-to-five job position. So it’s safe to say that keeping your sanity intact it is a job itself. Recently I’ve been watching a documentary about Adderall and other performance-enhancing drugs (Take Your Pill), and I actually caught myself thinking that I wouldn’t mind having some. This is one of many reasons why I need to work on my mindfulness, and I think you might too.
So let’s dive in.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is very trending right now. But, considering our insane and most of the time unhealthy lifestyle, it comes from pure necessity. Dr Mark Wlliams describes mindfulness as “awareness – awareness of what’s happening as it’s happening both in the inside world and the outside world”.
Practising mindfulness increases the ability to focus, decreases anxiety and gives that special oomph to the overall mood. It teaches to find inner peace with the presence and develop a non-judgemental attitude towards life. Personally, it helped me to open my mind and look at everything that life throws at me with an incredible ease. However, at the same time being much more aware of what happens around me. Read more about my take on meditation here.
The truth is that 90% of the things happening in your life you have no power over. So, basically, all those destroyed brain cells and sleepless nights spent worrying were for nothing. That’s why it is so important to invite peace into your life. But most importantly, see yourself as the priority. Once you learn that and put your happiness first, everything will come together.
How to be more mindful?
First of all, do a huge gift to yourself and start listening to your mind an body. You will be shocked how insightful it can be.
Secondly, I like to use a so-called formula of success: E (Event) + R (Response) = O (Outcome). I learned this from America’s #1 Succes Coach Jack Canfield. As Jack explains, “every outcome you experience in life (whether it’s success or failure, wealth or poverty, wellness or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event in your life”.
Basically, the idea is to realize that events are going to happen no matter what, and most the time you will not have any power over them. However, what matters is your response to those events. Based on how you respond to different life situations, you will determine a certain result.
The way it helps to my mindfulness is that it really makes me be aware of both: my surroundings and, most importantly, my actions. That pause, which I took before responding to a certain event, changed my life. I don’t want to sound dramatic (ok, I wanted it a little bit ha!), but it really makes a huge difference. Also, it works great in stressful situations by calming your nerves and putting on hold anxiety.
- Breathing exercises. When you feel stressed or losing touch with yourself, close your eyes or soften your gaze and really listen to the sound of your breath. Imagine how you inhale good energy and exhale all the worries you have. Surprisingly, our own breath has the same effect on us as a sound of the sea.
- Meditation. I’ve been practising daily meditation for more than 6 months now, and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. As any habit, it takes time to form a new one. So start slowly: 5 min per day will be a great start and work your way up from there. Or not. Find something that feels best to your awesome self.
- Yoga. Any form of exercising (yes, including sex!) is great for your body AND soul, but if you opt for yoga, you can benefit from it by developing awareness of your breathing. Fit body and calm soul anyone? Sign me up, please!
“Mindfulness isn’t the answer to everything, and it’s important that our enthusiasm doesn’t run ahead of the evidence,” says Professor Williams. However, right attitude and smile on your face make earth one hell a place to live in.