Mindfulness is no longer reserved for Buddhist monks and lentil eating hippies.
Mindfulness is for you, and mindfulness is for me.
What if I told you just a few mere minutes a day could change your entire day, you’d stress-less, focus more, and sleep better (just to name a few benefits).
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY amazing that something FREE could change your ENTIRE life.
Well, it turns out, you can dramatically improve EVERY aspect of your life by adding this simple mindset to your everyday routines…
And in today’s post I’m going to tell you exactly what mindfulness is…and exactly HOW it can easily change your life.
There’s a mindfulness craze sweeping across the nation. And don’t you just love living on a planet where mindfulness can become a craze?
You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the buzz in the air. It’s invading our homes, schools, workplaces — it’s even whispered about in the washroom stalls. Okay, maybe that’s going to far, but really, it’s everywhere.
11 million people have downloaded the Headspace App alone.
People are sick and tired of the bustle. People want a change.
But why the craze? What’s the deal?
To start, people have realized that almost everything they’ve been doing to create happiness has been a waste of time.
- Filling our lives with stuff (latest gadgets, fancy cars and houses)
- Jam-packing our schedules (and our kids schedules)
- Feverishly searching for the fountain of youth
- Chasing popularity, fame, and money
We are still not happy. Period.
My failed happiness attempts could fill a book. But there is one particular attempt that actually worked and it’s time to share my success, and that’s what this post (and blog) is all about.
And that’s where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness will change your life.
You might be wondering:
What exactly is mindfulness? And how do I even practice?
What is Mindfulness?
Put simply:'Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally' ~ Jon Kabat Zinn.
Imagine being fully engaged in a task, aware of your thoughts and feelings, but not obsessed or controlled by them.
You’re focused on the present, not obsessing about the past or worrying about the future.
Your attitude is positive, curious, and non-judgmental.
To see where you stand, test yourself with a 15-item questionnaire used by scientists called the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Then, get inspired to score higher (because it will improve your life) by learning the basics. (don’t forget to grab your free beginner’s mindfulness guide below).
When you think of mindfulness your brain might imagine peaceful Buddha’s in temples meditating, or gorgeous yogi’s in dancers pose beside trickling waterfalls. But, the usual modern workplace or household — filled with noisy cubicles or screaming kids —displays an image far from serene.
But here’s the deal:
We need to train our brain to function well and appropriately under the normal stressors and chaos of daily life, that is if we want to enjoy our life (and I’m guessing you do).
But the secret is:
To incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. We DON’T need to escape our lives (most of us can’t flee to exotic locations for months on end) so we need a backup plan.
And that’s where I come in, I’m here to help you figure out HOW to incorporate Mindfulness into everyday life. I can help you learn life-saving skills in just a few minutes a day.
And it all starts by making small everyday changes that will have a BIG impact on your life.
Easy peasy, right?
Why is Mindfulness Important?
The ‘big picture’ answer is that everyone wants to make the most of their time here on Earth, everyone wants to be happy.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the goal of every living being.
But, even though we desire happiness, many, and when I say many, I mean millions of us are plagued by unhappiness and mental health issues.
Let me give you an example of how our minds currently operate:
Like cars on a busy freeway. And if we don’t pay attention well, look out, we just might crash.
The reel of non-stop thoughts is exhausting. The chattering, bouncing, judging, thinking, preparing for the future and reliving the past. Sigh.
We skip from thought to thought in a foggy haze.
And the problem with this foggy haze is that if we don’t learn to stop the robot-like incessant racing of our minds, these foggy moments can (and will) fill up most of our lives. And if they fill up most of our lives, then we miss our lives.
Uh, definitely not happy.'We all too easily conduct our lives as if forgetting momentarily that we are here, where we already are, and that we are in what we are already in. In every moment, we find ourselves at the crossroad of here and now.' ~ Jon Kabat Zinn
Perhaps we can switch our minds from operating like cars on a busy freeway to gliding through a calm lake in a steady canoe.
Is Mindfulness achievable, like… in the real world?
Is it realistic in real (crazy, modern, chaotic) life to achieve this state of mind?
The short answer is YES. This state of being is within your grasp.
Everyday (Scientifically Proven) Benefits of Mindfulness:
- Reduces stress, tension and anxiety
- Decreases depression
- Relieves chronic pain
- Healthier heart
- Boosts creativity
- Increases energy and happiness
- Enhances relationships
- Improves focus and concentration
- Better sleep
- Increases metabolism, aiding in digestion and weight loss
- Strengthens the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreases heart rate
Improvements in some, or all of these areas, definitely make me, well — I’m sure you guessed it already — one happy girl!
The Beauty of Mindfulness – here’s the good part
Have you ever been lost in your yoga practice, simply flowing, naturally, without judgment or thoughts, feet rooted deep into the Earth?
Or maybe you’ve been lost in a golf game? Feeling the cool breeze, the soft, spongy green grass beneath you.
Do you feel happy? I bet you do, and the funny thing is, I bet you didn’t even think about being happy, you just were.
What is mindfulness?
Right there, that’s mindfulness!
Let me give you an example:
For me, the most vivid example of a mindful experience comes from those delicate moments in front of a beautiful crimson sunset. It’s hard to find the words to explain how incredible this state of mind feels. I’ll equate it to a runner’s high. It’s when you stop thinking, it’s about feeling what is. Being completely present. A calm, peacefulness spreads throughout every cell in your body.
So in fact, we are already practicing mindfulness, everyone is, the problem is we are waiting for special moments to arise to reap these benefits.
Want to know the best part?
You can experience this state of mind every day, whenever you want. That’s what mindfulness is all about.
It’s not some mystical phrase used only for the Zen masters, it is for everyone and all you need to do is learn how to change the way you pay attention. If you want to learn some quick tips right now see 100 Mindfulness Secrets or 8 Powerful Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain.
By reining in your mind in you can choose where you hold your attention. Bring a present awareness into all actions, thoughts, and activities.
Quick examples of mindful living:
Here’s an example of mindful eating:
Taste the sourness of an apple, I mean REALLY taste it, feel the bitterness on your tongue, play with the texture and express gratitude.
Here’s an example of mindful parenting:
The kids are fighting. Will you bark at them only to regret your quick tongue later?
A useful mindfulness tool is to practice S.T.O.P. Stop what you are doing and pause. Take 10 deep breaths. Observe how you are feeling before reacting, then proceed and calmly deal with the situation. Chances are, this exercise will stop any knee-jerk reactions and give you the space and awareness to handle the situation more effectively.
If ever in doubt of how to bring mindfulness into a situation, simply bring yourself back to the present moment over and over again.
What are some ways we can easily bring mindfulness into our life?
Mindfulness is all about paying attention. When you step into the present moment and become aware of how your body feels, the thoughts going through your mind and the emotions you are experiencing you can feel alive and make appropriate choices.
What’s the bottom line?
Don’t stay in a foggy dream and slip to your grave. Don’t wake up at the end of your life with regrets. Make the choice to live the rest of your life with satisfaction, harmony, and wisdom.
There is nothing for sale, mindfulness is not trying to convert you to Buddhism, and it won’t solve all your worldly problems. What it will do is provide you with the tools to accept your problems. It is simply a practice that you can incorporate into your life right now, whatever your life looks like.
Our life unfolds only in moments, when we are not present we miss these moments, we miss our lives.
You might be thinking money, fame or power will make you happy, but in fact, mindfulness is the very cause of our happiness.
Let’s get unstuck from old conditioned mental patterns. Take charge of your life, be your own pilot of the direction and quality. Do it for your family, work and society. Do it for mother nature, but most of all – do it for yourself.
There are so many ways to incorporate this habit into your life.
Here at Mindfulmazing we focus on:
Mindfulness for moms
Mindfulness for kids (specific step-by-step guides available here to teach your kids this amazing life-long skill)
Reducing anxiety and worry
Reducing debt and staying organized.
Some of our most popular articles on these topics are:
10 Steps to Mindfulness – Transform Your Life
13 Thing Happy People Don’t Do
How to Teach Your Mindfulness to Kids – At Any Age
15 Mindfulness Exercises Your Kids Will Love
9 Easy Mindfulness Tools for Busy Moms
So you’ve read all about mindfulness and think it sounds great.
Now it’s time to start implementing it.
The first step?
Click the image below and enter your email to get access to my FREE Mindfulness beginner’s guide (PDF). Click the image below to download the guide now.
This guide walks you through 7 days of mindful living…including some bonus resources that I didn’t talk about here
If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it or PIN it below.
I highly recommend this book by John Kabat Zinn – the master of mindfulness. It’s a life changer. Wherever You Go, There You Are