What is mindfulness?

A lot of people who are on their spiritual journey are talking about mindfulness and how it is helping them in their lives. Even spiritual teachers, like Abraham hicks, Joe Dispenza and Eckhart Tolle, are talking about living in the present moment all the time. But what is mindfulness, why should you practise mindfulness and is it really necessary to become a happier person?

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a weird word because it implies that your mind is full, but the opposite is true. We people have 60.000 thoughts per day and most of the time we are not aware of our surroundings. We are stuck in our heads. We are thinking about what happened in the past, even though we can’t change it and we worry about the future. But we forget to live in the present moment. The present moment is all we have but somehow we are not paying attention. We are always somewhere else with our thoughts. Mindfulness means living in the present moment with your full attention. You are completely in the now and every time you get a thought, you turn your focus to the present moment.

The roots of mindfulness trace back to Buddhism and Hinduism. But in the last couple of years, we started to use it more in the western world. We realized that this is also a way to deal with stress and stress-related symptoms.

Why you should practise mindfulness?
We live in a society where we always have to do something and we are always in a hurry or stressing out about something. Mindfulness can help with stress, burn-out and so much more. You experience stress when you are thinking about the past or the future. You are stuck in your head, but when we use mindfulness, we can get rid of the stress and overthinking. And when you stop overthinking, it means you can start to enjoy the present moment.

But less stress is just one benefit of mindfulness and mindfulness has tons of benefits. I think it can benefit everyone, no matter what your situation is.

A few of the benefits of mindfulness
– Higher productivity
– Happier
– Lowers blood pressure
– Improves mental health
– Improves health
– Better memory

And these are just a few of the benefits but these are already great reasons to practise mindfulness more often and apply it to your day to day life. And to come back to my question of whether mindfulness can make you happier, yes it is possible. When you are not practising mindfulness, you are thinking about things. Most of the time it is something that will make you feel bad. You are blaming yourself because you made a mistake yesterday or you are worried about your future and if you ever will achieve your goals. But if you take those thoughts away, life becomes lighter and a little easier. You start to see things that will make you happier. And when you feel happier, you will attract more good things. It is a vicious circle.

I remember those times when I was living in the present moment because in those moments I was feeling amazing and so happy. I remember that I was at a festival and all of these artists were performing and I was completely in the now and I was feeling so happy. I was not worrying about school or my future. I was just enjoying life to the fullest. And you probably have a memory like that too, that you were feeling so happy. It is very possible that you were living in the now and now worrying about other things.

How do you practise mindfulness?
Normally we do things on autopilot. We wake up, make a cup of coffee or tea and get in the shower, while we are thinking about our day and the things we have to do. But if you practise mindfulness you are completely focused on the task you are doing now. So if you are making and drinking a cup of tea, sit down and enjoy it. Use all of your senses to stay in the present moment. What do you hear? How does your cup of tea taste? What do you see?

And when you get a thought, just acknowledge the thought and return to your cup of tea. That is it. Okay, it sounds easier than it is. Especially when you are an overthinker, it can be a challenge. But eventually, it will get easier. Do one thing at a time and give all of your attention to that.

I challenge you to practise mindfulness every day for a week or a month and just see what kind of impact it has on your life. And don’t feel bad when you are back to the old self of overthinking everything. Just bring your attention back to the present moment. Be nice to yourself. It can happen to everyone, even to those who practise mindfulness for a very long time.

Just don’t give up too fast. Would you rather live your old life for the rest of your life or do you want to find out what will happen if you don’t give up after one day? Maybe incredible things will happen when you practise for a week, you meet new people or you just feel happier. I think becoming happier is the main goal of a lot of people. It can not hurt to try mindfulness. If you keep doing the same things in live (on autopilot) you will get the same results anyway. That is a fact. But what will happen you suddenly start to pay attention to what is going around you? And maybe it sounds terrifying not knowing what is going to happen next, but it can also be very exciting. Suddenly everything is possible.

Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash



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