What is Mindfulness?
There are a couple of definitions of mindfulness
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
As the second definition states, mindfulness is meant to help us not only feel what we’re feeling but to also use that to help us cope and get through it. For instance, feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Focus on the things that are making you feel that way. By focusing you are able to deal and handle it; the opposite would be to ignore the problem and it festers.
How Can We Put it Into Practice?
The practice of mindfulness can be done via regular meditation, breathing exercises, and practicing focusing your mind on being present. As we all know, our mind wanders, especially when we are trying to focus. The idea is to gain control of your thoughts and practice reducing this. The result is that you are more present, more mindful of where you are and are able to enjoy yourself at that very point in time.
As we all know, thinking about the future, and perseverating on the past can cause mental fatigue. Mindfulness is a practice to help you refocus and re-center yourself so that you are not distracted by the past or future – two areas on which we have no control – and relieve that stress and anxiety that comes with it.
Motivating Yourself to Be More Mindful
Giving yourself time each day to put this into practice is difficult. However, it is essential that we slow down and make time for the sake of our own mental health. Plus, there are all the physical benefits that come with taking care of your mental health, like better sleep, clearer skin, and happier minds and bodies.
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be a big, crazy, complicated ordeal. You can take the time, whenever you have it and wherever you go, to do your breathing exercises, and close your eyes and refocus your mind.
For instance, if you’re out for a walk, take a few minutes to stop listening to music and take a look around. Notice the blue sky, white clouds, green grass and smell the fresh air. Listen to the birds, and notice all the creatures of nature. If you’re eating a nice meal at a restaurant, don’t just rush through and people watch. Notice the ambiance; enjoy your drink, savor every bite of your meal. Taking just a few minutes to reduce your mental distractions, and focus on your environment can do a lot to calm your mind and make you more aware.
Mindfulness Quotes to Help Regain Your Balance
What follows are some mindfulness quotes to help motivate you to regain your balance and make this kind of self-care a priority.
The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Little moments are what really make up our lives. If you wait for the big moments, the ones that come once in a while, or randomly, you’ll miss out on the most of what life is all about.
Anxiety is the subtle and pervasive destroyer of our happiness. It depends on thoughts of past and future. It cannot exist in the present – Jan Chozen Bays
This is pretty straightforward. I think we as a society would eliminate a lot of our stress if we stopped focusing all of our energies outward and instead focused them inward. Instead of comparing our lives to others and wishing for what we didn’t have, and we accepted everything we do have and expressed gratitude. If we stopped dwelling on what was, and focused instead on what is.
Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Today, right now, is all we have control over. You can plan for the future, but you honestly have no control over what will actually happen. The past you cannot change.
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another, and ourselves – Jack Kornfield
Everyday life happens. And sometimes it sucks. Don’t let yourself get lost in the muck of it. Bring yourself back to you with mindfulness practices, and taking breaks from all the chaos.
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know – Pema Chödrön
Life lessons will continue, sometimes the same ones over and over, until we figure it out. However, how will you figure it out unless you take the time, take the moments, to think about it, focus on the issues, and find the lesson to be learned?
Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter – Amit Ray
I think one of the benefits of practicing mindfulness, is that you become more aware of where you are AND, I think, more appreciative of what you have. Sometimes we don’t realize all the positives in our life until we remember to take a look.
How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it – Rasheed Ogunlaru
How you see the world can change when you come back to the present and start paying attention to where you really are. It’s all about perspective.
These next few mindfulness quotes are from the Buddha himself.
Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.
Let GO. It’s not easy, that’s why we must keep doing it. Especially because the past also has a tendency to creep back up on us.
You only lose what you cling to.
Imagine letting go of all that anxiety, self-doubt and negative thoughts!
Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.
Knowing this is what has helped me go through and deal with so much in life. Everything happens for a reason. Practicing mindfulness can help you stay centered during times of adversity and help you find the silver linings.
Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.
Yep. So think good thoughts and think about yourself in positive ways.
Last but not least:
Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance – Amit Ray
Make sure you are present for your own show. Build up your memory bank each day so that when you look back, the reel of your life is not only worth watching, but you remember all the little details, all the events, big or small, and can relive how you felt at those very moments.