Mind Full or Mindful? That is the question.
The official definition: mindfulness is paying purposeful attention to the present moment, without judgment.
Mindfulness is a stage of being when your body and mind are in the same place at the same time. That means bringing attention to what you are doing and where you are, without worrying about the future or past. Think of it like you’re sitting at your desk and eating a granola bar and all of a sudden you’re aware that you’re sitting at your desk and eating a granola bar. You’re not worried about what you’re going to eat for dinner or thinking about how you embarrassed yourself earlier this morning. You’re just in that moment, as it unfolds.
Research has shown that the benefits to mindfulness include:
➢ Decreased stress response.
➢ Increased Immune system activity.
➢ Increased capacity for compassion.
➢ Improved ability to regulate emotions.
➢ Increased ability to relax.
➢ Improvement in chronic pain levels.
➢ Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
➢ Improved ability to experience moments with greater clarity.
Rarely does the breath, or even silence for that matter, hold our awareness for long enough to experience undivided attention. We are used to having so many things happen during day-to-day living that we are largely unaware of the subtitles of breathing, the simplicity of awareness, the felt sense of the mind and body in stillness.
I truly believe that the secret to loving yourself fully is through the development and practice of non-judgmental self-awareness. Self-awareness is similar to a mirror that allows you to see your actions, feelings, and thoughts objectively. This capacity is vital if you are to grow, be willing to take risks, and to love yourself. With this remarkable skill, you will be able to acknowledge your errors, make amends, and get on with your life, allowing you to feel confident and be in a state of inner peace. Let’s explore how our judgments come about and how we can transform those thoughts..
As human beings, we attach to the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, at an early age. When we are young, we need these concepts to keep us safe and protect us from harm. However, these two concepts are also the basis of our judgments, both on ourselves and of others. As adults who have learned the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, so we no longer need that inner voice that constantly evaluates and judges our behaviour.
Mindfulness/Meditation/Yoga will support you in the practice of self-observation. These tools assists you in developing your capacity to know you are not the thoughts in your head, merely the one who is hearing them. A simple method is to listen to the sound of your inhale and the sound of your exhale. Each time you become aware that you are thinking, let that awareness bring you back to the sound of your breath.
CALL TO ACTION ⟶
A little self-care can go a long way toward helping us lead happier, healthier lives. When we’re spreading ourselves too thin and are constantly over-scheduled, actually making time for self-care is half the battle. But even when we do carve out time to exercise, meditate or eat more healthfully, we so often still end up judging ourselves or are distracted by other items on our to-do lists that we’re not getting the most out of our self-care routine.
When you create the habit of self-care, you are implementing mindfulness practices to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level. When you can fine tune your awareness in your moment-moment experience, you can ask yourself “what do I need?" and choose accordingly. This is a practice and a process.
Download FREE Self-Care Printable here