Mindfulness is great because it increases your awareness of the world around you as well as helps you relax and see the bigger picture.
For me, mindfulness means taking some time each day to really reflect. To not just let life roll by, but to calm acknowledge what is going on in your life as well as your interaction with others.
Mindfulness makes can help you feel more stable in such a hectic world by drawing your attention to what matters the most.
So here are some suggestions on practical ways to be more mindful...
A very good, practical way to be more mindful is to get used to being alone. I call it "don't be scared of your own thoughts". Many of us avoid being alone because we don't want to be left alone with our own thoughts. We need distractions, we always need to constantly be doing something, usually something that prevents us from thinking deeply. But many times, that just blocks the process of mindfulness. Being alone is a great way to observe your surroundings and contemplate them mindfully. Don't run away from it. Embrace solitude and feed positive and reflective thoughts.
Another excellent way to be more mindful is to experience something new and interesting. Having new experiences adds value to your life and gives you more to think about. Try something you've always wanted to do, or do something completely spontaneous. There's quite a bit of thinking and reflection that accompanies new experiences. Experiences can cause us to re-calibrate our current view of life or see things in new ways. It's always a joy to see a new layer of the world that you didn't know existed before.
Begin your day with mindfulness. This is one of my top ways to bring consciousness into every day life. Enjoy the stillness and calmness of waking up, and devote that time to mindful thought. A good way to be mindful in the morning is to think about all the things you are grateful for in your life at that moment, and to thank God for them. Thank God for the gift of seeing a new day.
I think there's a certain sensation that comes with awakening to a new day. There's a feeling of rawness and the realisation that you have a fresh new slate to work with. Practising mindfulness can really help to set you up for an excellent rest of your day.
The next item on the listing of practical ways to be more mindful is to talk to children. What? Talk to children. Why? Well, talking to children brings you on another level. It seems that children view life with such clarity and wonder.
Children are honest and open, which is something we all can learn from. Sometimes, we attempt to hide our thoughts and feelings from others, and sometimes even from ourselves. This creates conflict, because we refuse to see things as they are. Children see things as they are. Children can be the greatest of companions in this way.
So, if you want to be more mindful, engage a toddler in conversation. Get to see the world from their angle, and you'll be surprised how much you take away from that experience.
Writing a diary is a another wonderful way to be more mindful. After all, writing a diary forces you to think about the events in your life. Diary entries are often emotional and personal. They just make you think deeply about what you like and what you dislike, what brings you pain or exquisite joy. Besides, writing a diary is a great way to keep track of your personal development, how your thoughts and attitudes change from week to week.
Reading your diary is literally like reading your own mind. In a few months from now, you'll look back with amusement and see what made you tick, what values were intrinsic to your personality.
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Below is an excerpt from Jhené Aiko's Poetry Book, 2Fish, that is both moving and beautiful. Here's a moment of reflection on the words and the meaning they convey.
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