What You Probably Didn’t Know About Mindfulness
The mind is more important than most people care to acknowledge. It's vital to nourish it to keep it alive and well. But what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the intentional pouring of all of one’s attention into the present moment, without any judgment.
In a state of mindfulness, your body and mind align, doing and thinking the same thing, respectively. Therefore, your undivided attention is on your present location. You don't care at all about the present or the past.
A simple illustration is sitting in your office chair and chewing on a snack. Then, it suddenly occurs to you that you're sitting at this desk, in this chair, and having a snack. You don't care to have dinner or dwell on the embarrassment you had earlier in your big presentation.
Let’s review a few other things you didn’t know about mindfulness.
Mindfulness in Everyday Life
It's common for people to breeze through each day with only a faint awareness of what we're thinking. Our lives are almost robotic, and every day is a bland routine, and unless something upsets that routine, we function basically like clockwork.
The way to build mindfulness is to become more intentional about your actions. Once your routine has more of this awareness element through mindfulness, you'll enjoy the benefits of mindfulness.
You're Misunderstanding Mindfulness if You Think this Is What It Means
Anyone can use mindfulness. Though it comes from Eastern religion, there's little in it that is religious. Mindfulness is a secular practice, and whether you care about religion or not, you can use it. Mindfulness allows you to explore your spiritual side.
However, do not equate mindfulness with meditation. Instead, it’s a practice that helps you become more mindful or aware of your present circumstances.
Other Crucial Things You Should Know about Mindfulness
When you care about having a new lease of life, stopping stress from consuming you, or creating good habits, you can practice the fine art of mindfulness. Making good use of your break will improve you in many ways. Note the following, however:
Mindfulness demands practice
Nobody wins a tennis Grand Slam without practice – ask Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Practicing mindfulness makes you better at it. A ten-minute session at some point during your day – mornings are better – will help you sustain and improve the habit. The mindfulness expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, suggests you need to learn to live in the present since it takes only a small amount of time.
Mindfulness and voodoo do not mix
Despite coming from many ancient cultures, there’s no mysticism in mindfulness. It’s only a case of following a natural process to help you focus on now. You can practice whether you're writing or singing. The point is that you're not letting thoughts of tomorrow or yesterday take over the present.
Mindfulness can make your brain better
Author Rick Hanson says that as you embrace mindfulness practice, you exercise your brain’s empathy and self-awareness regions. His book, Just One Thing and Hardwiring Happiness explains that mindfulness thickens the brain's cortical layers thicken, improving our focus. The practice also activates the left prefrontal cortex, warding off negativity.
You can use some help to practice mindfulness
You can use apps to help you practice being mindful. Many apps such as 10% Happier, buddhify, and Calm are easy to use, and many have meditations that focus on crucial parts of your life, such as anxiety and stress. We offer a special meditation app for kids that’s every bit fun to use too.
The best time to start is NOW
It's easy to feel busy in modern life. But, you can't put your destiny in the hands of your busy schedule. No Time Like Present author, Jack Kornfield, says today's the day to begin your mindfulness journey. He should know – he introduced the art to Western culture.
Mindfulness is the doorway to greater joy and fulfillment in your life. However, it’s good to have proper foundations. You can’t afford to take mindfulness for what it’s not. It’s neither fetish nor spiritual, but it can help you live a much better life than you’ve ever had.