What is all this talk about mindfulness? Well, mindfulness has become a sort of buzzword recently due to the popularity it has found among the scientific community. Mindfulness has been the focus of countless studies in the recent years and is extremely popular in the media. After 5000 years we are finally catching up. I can visualize Buddha smiling with satisfaction while saying, “What took you so long?”
“No one has ever been angry at another human being, we’re only angry at our story of them.”
– Byron Katie
Talking about mindfulness often confuses the layperson with no experience related to this type of meditation or no experience or knowledge of meditation at all. Although there is nothing to be confused about on the process and application of mindfulness. It is in fact an extremely simple practice that you can apply throughout your daily life. I like to refer to it as a “living” meditation.
Mindfulness very simply is, being aware of each moment without attaching to or judging anything that is going through your mind. It is being in the here and now. It is eating while you eat and walking while you walk. Not texting your friend, not tweeting, not taking a photo on Instagram, just simply doing whatever it is you are doing without all the other distractions. Mindfulness is diving into the Now and experiencing it as fully as possible.
Levey and Levey, authors of Simple Relaxation and Meditation describe mindfulness meditation in the following way: “mindfulness liberates us from memories of past and fantasies of future by bringing reality of the present moment clearly into focus” They also state that “mindfulness makes us more aware of life’s everyday miracles.”
I truly want everyone to experience these everyday miracles that mindfulness makes us aware of. There are also innumerable benefits for the mind, body and soul that can become a part of your daily life if you just begin a mindfulness practice. Just try it. Try for one day to be aware of everything in front of you without regretting the past or worrying about the future. I guarantee you will see the benefits for yourself.
Below are 5 ways that mindfulness has made my life better:
➢ Increased happiness and joy – Before I began practicing mindfulness I suffered from severe depression. Being present and aware has made a huge difference in my life and a majority of my depression has been relieved.
➢ Increase problem solving skills – Before mindfulness my head was always filled with an overwhelming amount of thoughts and anxiety that it was almost impossible to think about solving problems, I was always creating more.
➢ Enhanced compassion – When I’m miserable and depressed it’s usually because I am so caught up in “me” and not caring about anyone else. Mindfulness allows me to listen to my heart more than my head, then I’m able to act compassionately on a regular basis.
➢ Enhanced tolerance – Before beginning a present centered practice I could barely stand to be around people in social situations and even my family caused exceptional annoyance.
➢ Decreased substance abuse – I am in recovery from addiction and mindfulness had a large part in my recovery. I no longer need to drink or use other substances to deal with life.
These five benefits are truly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways mindfulness can improve your life. Go out and experiment with mindfulness in your life and if you like it explore it a little deeper. There is a whole new life out there for you to experience and many miracles to come that you will not miss if you have mindfulness in your life. Enjoy your unique journey one moment at a time.