"text-align: center;">What is Mindfulness Mind Actually?
What is Mindfulness Practice?
Are You feeling stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed? Life is just too damn busy. If we listen to all the social buzz out there we just aren’t successful enough if we don’t have all areas of our lives working perfectly. The perfect relationship, kids, wardrobe, job, home, health…argghh – the list is endless.
Learning to practice Mindfulness is the perfect way to give your tired and over-worked mind a break.
It offers you instant peace and calm and removes you from the overwhelm that modern-day living brings. It clears up confusion, removes negativity, and resets your emotions in a jiffy.
Let’s see how…..
What Does Mindfulness Mean?
Wikipedia defines Mindfulness as bringing one’s attention to the present moment. That would mean becoming conscious of what one is thinking of in the present moment. However, to expand on that premise we have to notice that we are not our thoughts.
We have the ability to change what we are thinking at any given moment – we are running the show and not the other way around.
To take it one step further – we are able to notice that we do think. Therefore our thoughts are not ” us”. Thinking is something we do by choice.
How to Achieve a Mindfulness Mind
Mindfulness is then when you are able to notice what you are thinking and notice that there is a “space” that’s is free and usually before any thought.
For the best part of our lives, we have allowed millions of random thoughts to occupy our minds – like a continuous movie.
Mindfulness is the ability to stop that movie at any point and choose your thoughts and/or the silence between those thoughts.
Consider it the same as choosing the tv channel you want to watch – if you don’t like the program that is being aired you can change the channel.
Some Hacks on how to Practice Mindfulness
Here are some great mindfulness hacks you can use to stay grounded and present no matter what time of day or where you are.
You can use the 3 Breaths technique to anchor your awareness firmly in the present. It’s so easy you can do it right now as you’re reading this. Simply bring your attention to your breath – breath in slowly and gently, following the path of your breath with your mind. Feel it deep in your belly. Then breathe out slowly and gently, again paying attention to the movement of your breath. Can you feel a subtle energy shift, a calm peacefulness? That is how mindfulness feels.
You can do this anywhere at any time, and no one will know that you are practicing mindfulness.
Check-in with your senses
If you’re finding it a little tricky to access your inner peace or you find your mind is distracted, try the 5 Senses Check-in. Make a conscious decision to disconnect from distractions and focus your awareness on what you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste. This simple exercise will ground you in the present moment anytime you feel stressed or flustered.
Take every opportunity that comes your way to practice mindfulness. It’s especially good to use times where you might feel frustrated and impatient, like waiting in line or while you’re stuck in traffic. Put a half-smile on your face and watch your breath. Let the breath breathe you—don’t try to control it. In no time, you’ll feel your frustration melt away.
Use mindfulness to create space
Choose to ignore or switch off all your devices for a while. Instead of jumping in with a reactive response, sit back and really listen. Give the other person your full attention and respect, and you’ll have a more meaningful and productive conversation.
A little story as an example of Mindfulness
Let me illustrate with a little Buddhist story:
Two monks were walking down a road. They were traveling in silence, as monks do. The road was wet and muddy – as there had been a lot of rain in the area recently.
At one point in the road, they came by a woman standing next to the side of the road. There was a big puddle of water in front of where she was trying to cross. This would mean her clothes would get wet if she stepped into the road.
As they got level with her the elder monk went over and picked her up. He then carried her over the puddle and gently put her down on the other side. The young woman continued on her journey down the road.
The monks continued their journey in silence. After about 20 minutes the younger monk turned to the elder monk and asked,” Why did you help that young woman? Is it not against our religion to touch a woman? “
The elder monk turned to the younger one and replied, “My boy, I put her down 20 minutes ago, why haven’t you? “
The Difference between Mindset and Mindfulness
Mindfulness refers to whatever is occupying your mind at any point in time.
You are only mindful if you are paying attention to those thoughts that are constantly running through your head like a freight train.
Mindfulness is being able to slow it down to just one thought – preferable of your own choosing – and better still if you can spend some moments in “no thought”.
Mindset is how you view your life and your world. The actions that you take and the thoughts you have regarding life come from your programmed beliefs.
You usually have a collection of beliefs around such issues as money, governments, or relationships, for example. So you will have a certain collection of beliefs around money hence a Money Mindset.
Your Money Mindset might be filled with scarcity or with abundance. Fortunately, if it is the former we are able to change our beliefs around money and hence our money mindsets.
The same applies to any other paradigms or beliefs that are limiting you in life.
As the above story demonstrates our biggest enemy is our minds. Being singularly mindful or focused on what we are doing, leaves no room for the “past” or the “future “.
Obviously, there will be times when we need to make plans for the future or set goals, however, the same principle applies.
Staying focused on one thought – without adding extra “emotion” like worry, fear, or anger to the thought keeps us in balance. In this space, we can not be unsuccessful or out of balance.
Or you can try one of the other hacks discussed above.
I urge you to give this a try. Start slow and slowly build up. It will not be easy at first as your mind is so used to running the show that it will take a while to train it to listen to you instead. When you notice your brain moving off the present to some “made-up” worry, fear, criticism, or negative thought, gently bring it back to the only real place – which is right now!!
In the ” right now ” we are never lacking!
Be mindful of your Self-Talk.
It’s a conversation with the universe.
– David James Lees
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