What does a mindful life look like?
Is it sitting silently with your eyes closed? Is it perfect calm? Is it always knowing what to say, and making perfect decisions? Does it mean going vegan and living in a tiny house?
People assume that because mindfulness has a lot of great benefits, they have to work really hard and sacrifice a lot to get it. They have to be expert meditators with clean diets who can rise above any situation.
It’s simply not true. When we live mindfully, it only means we’re living in the present. By doing so, we’re able to achieve more. We’re also in a better position to choose how we react. Here are nine ways to be a greater presence in your own life.
1. Say no – and understand why. Any life coach will encourage you to say no, but what makes it mindful? Also knowing why it is you’re declining. Maybe you’re not the right person for that task, or there’s something else you’re more excited to do.
2. Notice your urges. You began eating that bag of chips before it registered that you wanted them. No one is telling you to put them down, but take a second to note your thoughts and how you’re feeling – it will explain many things you do “without thinking”.
3. Make relationships better. Relationships that stay the same aren’t as fulfilling. Do the work, whether it be calling the friend more often or making a better effort to meet a partner’s needs.
4. Pick a mentor. Study a great thinker or other figures you admire, and do a deep dive into what they might have to teach you. Even if you’ll never meet them, make them a role model, and let them inspire you.
5. Daydream. Pursuing mindfulness can devolve into attempts to relentlessly control the mind, if not constantly monitor it. Allow yourself enough time to let the mind relax and wander.
6. Read more. We do a lot of reading on our laptops and phones. Because of this, we can switch around and take in a lot of different things in one sitting. Instead, focus on one story. Lock the phone away and read a book.
7. Attention to detail. Even the roughest concrete, when examined up close, can have a visually pleasing texture. There’s a very good reason why for centuries, people have been encouraging us to look for beauty where there seemingly is none.
8. Take walks. If you worry a lot, you’re probably exhausted from the same thoughts running on a loop over and over again. Give your body a break from the tension by taking it for a walk, and see what else your mind can come up with.
9. Adopt hobbies. A well-rounded life includes things we do just because we like to do them. Many hobbies are mindfulness in motion, so pick something up and tune into the now today.
Are you holding onto any misunderstandings or stereotypes about mindfulness? What are you doing on a daily basis to enrich your life? Share in the comments, and come visit us again next week.