What is Mindfulness?
As we all come to accept and understand the prevalence of mental health, companies everywhere are trying to take advantage of the public and have almost turned mindfulness into a meaningless buzz-word. Were here to explain what mindfulness is and how you can incorporate it into your life.
What does meditation and mindfulness even mean?
“Mindfulness is simple. It’s paying attention to the world and the little details. That is what gives you real peace“
In a world that seems to move quicker everyday and has a laundry list of tasks, mindfulness may seem like childs-play. That’s the beauty in it, children are already mindful because everything is still so new. They notice the leaves on the trees, the feeling of the cool tile beneath their feet. Perhaps it is time for all of us to become more like children for the sake of our own sanity.
WAIT… YOU’RE TELLING ME MINDFULNESS IS JUST WONDERING?
De-stabilizing thoughts occur when you go on wild trains of thought. This is an especially difficult trap for those with ADD or ADHD. De-stabilizing thoughts happen when your mind fantasizes and creates more worry or a seemingly never-ending to do list. For instance, you may see a tree, which could make you think about lumber. Lumber makes you think about houses, and thinking about houses makes you think about the leak in your roof that you need to fix but can afford to. Then that makes you think about your finances and so on until you feel overwhelmed or start to panic.
Mindfulness teaches us how to fight against de-stabilizing thoughts.
In the sea of advice you find online, people keep saying don’t worry about the rules.
Just ya know…. do it.
I can not even begin to explain how much that frustrated me when I started. I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be doing, how could I just do it?
Well… it turns out they were right (kinda). There are not a lot of rules when it comes to mindfulness and meditation. Really there is only one, always come back to your center.
Ok so what does that mean? Come back to your center, what I am a candle salesman?
Yeah I know it sounds like a bunch of voodoo, but just hang on with me here. When you meditate you should always have a center or a focus. It could be counting the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4. Maybe you should focus on your breath as it moves your stomach up and down. My personal favorite is to do what’s called grounding. When you ground yourself, you pick one spot in the room, something that isn’t emotionally charged, so maybe it’s a plant over in the corner. Then you just focus on that plant. Look at the leaves and how they branch out. Just take a moment to enjoy the little things. Because that’s all mindfulness is, its paying attention to the little things.
The most common method for new beginners it to either focus on your breath as it flows in and out of the body. Or you can pick up a smooth stone and focus on how it feels in your hand. The weight, texture, color, all of its details. Your mind will begin to wander and make you want to think about a meeting you have or something you want to do, but it is important to stop and then focus on your breath or the stone once again.
Doing this teaches us how to calm our mind. After we do this for a while, the behavior will start to bleed into our daily lives. When we get mad or panicked, we will be more in touch with our minds and bodies and learn how to separate ourselves from these overly powerful emotions. It’s important to feel, but it’s possibly more important to realize when you react to something unreasonably. Perhaps the line is long at the store and we begin to become incredibly frustrated and huff and puff. Mindfulness helps us have a peaceful point of reference that lets us realize that we are overreacting.
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