Updated: Jun 1, 2020
You will be surprised to know that you already practice mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Have you ever noticed that you feel like a completely different person when you are away on holiday?
How stress melts away, you feel relaxed and enjoy taking in everything around you?
How you enjoy discovering your new surroundings, and how much you enjoy relaxed meals?
How much more patient you are and how you interact better with your family?
Do you ever feel that you are two people – the person who goes to work and the person who goes on holiday?
The reason is that you have unconsciously let go of your worries, resentments and recurring thoughts, and left them back at home. Have you noticed that if you take work on holiday or have to answer a work telephone call or email, the stress suddenly comes flooding back, you are not enjoying yourself anymore and you feel you might as well have never left home? Your work has brought back your worries, resentments and recurring thoughts and you feel trapped in your life.
Mindfulness is being in the present moment, without making judgements.
How to learn mindfulness
You can learn mindfulness by taking a course, listening to audio recordings or taking a walk. When you are doing mindfulness exercises put your phone on silent and switch off the TV and the radio.
Be very patient with yourself when trying mindfulness exercises. Our minds are very full of thoughts, and it is very easy to get distracted by thoughts and then blame yourself for not being able to be mindful. To take your first steps in mindfulness you need to cultivate curiosity and be able to laugh at yourself. You need to set aside trying, wanting and expecting an outcome. You are on a journey of discovery and whatever happens, happens.
Practising mindfulness everyday will help you overcome worrying and be happier. You can integrate mindfulness into your daily activities. When you wake up, you can mindfully do morning activities like taking a shower, unloading the dishwasher and putting away the dishes, watering the house plants, and eating breakfast.
You can practice mindfulness while commuting or driving to work, or while cooking or cleaning. Once you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life, you will discover that many daily activities can be done mindfully. You will also find that you will become more patient, kinder and less prone to anger and blame. Annoying people and situations will be less annoying. You will notice what is going on and be less caught up in your reaction to those events.
When you practice mindfulness you will recognise mindfulness in other people. You will notice that babies and young children are naturally mindful much of the time. Animals are also usually mindful.
The more you practice mindfulness the less you will feel trapped in your life, and the more you will feel like you are on holiday when you are walking down the street or sitting in a café.