Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. It is a powerful but simple concept which takes dedication and practice to master.
At the beginning of this year I decided to incorporate mindfulness techniques into my daily routine. There were compelling reasons to do this which were:
Eliminate stress and anxiety and become mentally resilient
Become physically healthier by making conscious nutrition decisions and incorporate physical activity into my daily routine
Improve my relationship with my husband, family and friends by opening myself up and stopping my tendency to judge and react without thought
Teach my daughters (through example) how to be mentally and physically healthy and create a content and peaceful life
MY MINDFUL LIVING METHODS
- Short meditation every morning
- Express gratitude every evening
- Concentrate on my breath regularly throughout the day
- Five minutes each day sitting in silent awareness of my surroundings
- Minimum of 30 minutes physical activity each day where I consciously take notice of the movement of my body and how it feels
- Concentrate on household chores like hanging out and folding down washing, cooking dinner, and cleaning the house; instead of wishing the moment away
- Consciously eat my food and take notice of the sensations of each mouthful
- Allow emotions to be without judging or labelling
- Accept people and events as they are
- Control what is within my influence and let everything else go. I have become comfortable with not knowing
- Take inspired action daily but let go of expectations
- Stop resisting what is happening – especially if it is something I am not enjoying
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WHAT HAS MINDFULNESS DONE FOR ME?
Living mindfully has turbocharged my spiritual development. It has dramatically improved my quality of life by improving my physical and mental health, my relationships and my resilience to deal with challenges. I don’t worry about the future and don’t obsess over the past. I move on quickly from issues instead of obsessing and blowing them out of proportion in my mind. I don’t concern myself with other people’s opinions of me and the decisions I make. My Husband and I don’t argue as often and when we do, we move on quickly without holding grudges.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE I FACED
Sometimes I do well and remember my mindful living practices each day. Other days I forget and things get on top of me. As time goes on, it is getting easier, but I am still not perfect.
With a baby and a toddler to look after I have found it difficult to dedicate a set time to meditate. I try and do it in the mornings, but some days the kids just won’t let me. Part of mindfulness is non-resistance. So I have learnt to move on and not get upset when I have days like this.
I have found mindfully eating and physical activity a challenge. I do well for a few weeks and then forget for a few weeks. My energy levels improve and I feel great when I am eating and exercising mindfully. I just need to master doing this consistently.
It doesn’t matter if I am not perfect. If I forget to be mindful, I will remember again later. It is all about practice and as time goes on, mindful living will become second nature to me.
THE VERDICT ON MINDFUL LIVING SO FAR
It is by no means easy, but is worth it! I am more peaceful, content, resilient and grateful. Life feels great.
If you are thinking about trying to live mindfully then do it! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.