Updated: Mar 3
In this series:
1 - What Is Mindfulness?
Life is full of unforeseen changes, challenges, and chaotic times. It is easy to be swept away by the seemingly endless list of chores, tasks, and deadlines that seem to pile up without you even realizing it. This can cause you to feel rundown in your body, mind, and spirit.
Once you find yourself feeling this way, it can seem nearly impossible to wake yourself back up to the beauty and benefits of life. This can then cause you to feel completely hopeless and tired of your own life, and your health, both physically and mentally, may suffer.
Luckily, there is a way to improve your life even during the most chaotic or stressful of times. Studies have shown that mindfulness is a key technique for improving your body, mind, and spirit no matter the situation, even in times of chaos.
Mindfulness is the ability to be completely in the present, as opposed to thinking about the past, future, or any other event that takes us away from the present time. Being mindful includes being aware of where we are, what we are doing, and how we feel. More so, it includes being in touch with ourselves, knowing our limits, and understanding our goals and desires for life.
As humans, it is easy to get swept away by other thoughts and events than the present. This causes us to be the opposite of mindful, wreaking havoc on our physical, mental, and emotional health. For example, the stress in the workplace can distract us from appreciating our family, causing problems in the home. Mindfulness can help.
All people are capable of mindfulness, even if it seems hard. Our brains are completely capable of focusing on the present and honing out the distractions of life. With that being said, it can be incredibly difficult to do this, which is why mindfulness practices are so helpful. Practicing mindfulness can teach us and train us to better focus on the present, allowing us to ignore anything else that may be a distraction.
Understanding The Point Of Mindfulness
Before starting your mindfulness journey, it is important to understand what mindfulness can and cannot do for you. If you have unrealistic expectations about mindfulness, it can be incredibly easy to feel like mindfulness is not working and give up on the practice completely.
Many people believe that mindfulness is about attaining some state of bliss. Bliss is often described as some state of perfect happiness that is oblivious to other factors surrounding it. It is important to recognize that mindfulness is not about reaching a state of bliss. This state is impossible to reach because there will always be challenges and difficulties in life that disrupt this so-called state. In other words, bliss does not exist.
With that being said, mindfulness can and should make you feel happier and more content with your overall life, but it is more realistic about it. This allows mindfulness to be geared towards appreciating your life and self better. It helps you see past short-term struggles and appreciate the life you have, even in the bad times.
For this reason, the point of mindfulness is to help you live a better life. Living a better life includes being more content in your situation, responding more compassionately and rationally in difficult situations, and being more compassionate with yourself and others. Mindfulness is not about creating a perfect life, but it is about creating the life you want and are excited to live.
If you understand that this is the point of mindfulness, you can more easily set realistic goals for your mindfulness training. These goals should reflect your current abilities and future wants so you are actively pursuing your ideal life.
It is important to note that mindfulness is not about being in the present all the time. As humans, we would become completely overwhelmed and overloaded if we stayed in the present all day, every day. There are times in our lives when we should think about the past, future, or nothing at all.
Benefits Of Mindfulness
The effects of mindfulness have been studied by several clinical trials, allowing us to confidently know that mindfulness improves our overall health and wellbeing. For example, mindfulness can improve the following conditions:
Mindfulness also helps to increase attention, regulate emotions, and increase motivation and overall life satisfaction. Together, these benefits allow you to experience a healthier and happier life.
Mindfulness is the act of being in the present so that you can live a healthier and happier life. As you become more mindful, you will experience a number of benefits for your emotional, mental, and physical health.