Contrary to its popular understanding, modern mindfulness is, in fact, a topic that dives much deeper than the simple act of meditation. It’s a holistic view of mental wellness, rooted in the physical health of mind & body, meaningful living, and becoming conscious of the messages flowing through our mind. Learning to consciously guide or allow them, without providing them enough power to dictate our actions. It is human nature to experience reality in the form of emotions, although it is in the understanding that we are greater than these thoughts and feelings where our human power truly resides.
“We’re addicted to our beliefs; we’re addicted to the emotions of our past. We see our beliefs as truths, and not as ideas that we can change.” – Joe Dispenza
In our world, there is no problem that can be solved from the same level of consciousness as it was created. A change in results requires a change in approach. Being mindful of this reality is the starting point of change. It is a special form of awareness which we can then follow with action and intent. Without first developing an awareness for who we are, why we do what we do, and why we think what we think, the search for true purpose and meaning will remain an uphill battle. This special form of consciousness alone is a proven contributor to happiness and satisfaction. Slow and steady progress toward reinforcing new patterns, new beliefs, and new habits is how true transformation takes place. This is how we learn to live in accordance with our true purpose, following our intuition before succumbing to the influences in our external reality.
How To Practice Mindfulness
You can blend mindfulness into your life through a variety of methods. The only thing you have to do is choose one, or a set of them that is right for you. The following is a simple list of some of the top practices to help any individual person foster consciousness in their life, living more mindfully along the way:
- Meditation. For myself and many others, this is #1 for a very good reason. It is the most powerful and direct way to become conscious of our thoughts. Forcing ourselves to slow down provides the opportunity to listen to our thoughts free of distraction. It’s an activity that over time, will strengthen our ability to then control and acknowledge these emotions, experiences, and states of being. In recent years, the physiological, as well as mental benefits, are beginning to become very clear, now backed by the science of health and wellness. Just like anything else, meditation is an art and a skill. Be patient with yourself and you will slowly but surely observe noted improvements in your practice. Improvements that will benefit all areas of your life.
- Sport and activity. Being physically engaged, especially in any kind of intense activity has a special ability to lock our attention to the present moment. Sports bring our mind into a flow state where we can process information incredibly quickly. It’s a state where we are free of emotions, feelings, and attachments that reside in the past or future. They wake us into where we are in the ‘here and now’. As a general rule, if you practice any form of true presence often, your life will transform. Wherever you are, truly be there. Focus on the turns you are making while skiing, focus on the weights you are lifting at the gym and focus on the people you are with instead of the people on your phone. Presence is powerful, your brain and relationships will thank you.
- Journal and foster self-awareness. Perhaps the best thing any person can do is work to understand and master who they are. Learn why you do what you do, and the patterns in your life you may be blind to. As humans, we truly are creatures of habit, and our thoughts are indeed the result of this aspect in our nature. Learn your habits, and learn how to change them. Teach your body and teach your mind what you want it to learn. Everything in life is a choice, choose who you are going to be by understanding who you are and where you are at.
- Express yourself. One of the easiest ways to love yourself is to be yourself. We live in a world where distractions are abundant and they are everywhere. Expressing who you are and living in alignment with the things that truly make you happy is a really special thing. People who live like this are loved and appreciated for who they are, all while exuding rare and authentic energy. Whether you enjoy sport, community, art, or any other form of hobby, embrace your personal form of self-expression. You will learn to appreciate your inner guidance system and truly love the lifestyle of your choosing. Passions boost us in so many ways, and there is never anything wrong with indulging in a healthy activity of self-expression.
- Manager your circle of influence. You become are the sum of the greatest influences in your life. Whether consciously or not, the people, the activities, and the idols you choose in life WILL rub off on you. Become conscious of how you spend your time. Who do you communicate with? How do you spend your day? What consumes your energy? Each of these will be important when choosing how you want to be as an individual. For myself personally, this process has improved my life in ways I could never describe with words. Cutting negative forces from people to time on social media can elevate your mindset in ways you previously thought to be impossible.
Although this list is certainly far from exhaustive, it is a great starting point when it comes to transforming your thoughts, beliefs and your mind. So often in life we believe we are at the effect of the world. I personally know this to be untrue. We, as individuals, are the cause of our world. Our thoughts shape our intent, our actions
To sum all of this up, I think there is one question that lays this out very simply and effectively: if there was one thing you could do for a few minutes every day to change your life, would you? And if not, why?
“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think” – Buddha