Driven to work or to the shops and when we arrive have absolutely NO idea how we got there.
That’s just one example of ourselves on “automatic pilot” and I bet you can name many more of your own.
I’m “guilty” of exactly the same thing. And then I decided I didn’t want to live my life in a fog anymore;because as I get older I realize that I am missing out on so many amazing things.
And that started to scare me! But then I calmed myself down, of course, because what good comes from judging and criticizing yourself?? Absolutely NOTHING! 🙂
We deal with so much stress in our lives and because we get so used to it, the way we deal with it becomes habitual. We simply tune it out=automatic pilot.
It doesn’t leave us though. Stress will always show up somewhere~muscles tensing; we experience pain; depression and anxiety happen; we become prisoners in our own negative self talk.
So what does “BEING MINDFUL” actually mean?
It isn’t just a cliche or fancy word you hear around the yoga studio. It has real benefits, is easy to do (when you practice it non-judgmentally) and will bring you much happiness and joy.
To practice mindfulness means to pay more careful attention in a particular way. We all have the quality of mindfulness in us. Mindfulness isn’t a luxury, “it’s a practice that trains your brain to be more efficient and better integrated, with less distractibility and improved focus. It minimizes stress and even helps you become your best self.” https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/09/7-easy-ways-to-be-mindful-every-day/
Here’s what you can do to bring more “Mindfulness” into your Life
1)Make an effort everyday!
It doesn’t matter if you do it morning or evening. All it takes is your genuine effort to bring more mindfulness into your active life. And we aren’t talking 90 minutes of meditation; I sit like a yogi on a cushion……unless you want to do that!
I’m talking simply taking a few minutes throughout the day, everyday to STOP and Breathe. Focus.
When you are making your morning coffee, why not be totally aware of the process of making it.
The smell of the coffee as you scoop it into the coffee maker, the sound of the coffee maker as it percolates and notice the smile on your face when you anticipate that first cup. Yep, it’s THAT simple to bring some mindful practice into your life.
2)Don’t reach for that phone!
When you are waiting for the coffee to finish percolating OR you are standing at the stoplight waiting for it to change OR you are in a waiting room…waiting, resist the urge to grab the phone and start scrolling Facebook, checking emails or texting.
We are SO connected to our devices, faces jammed into screens that we miss the whole world.
Instead, why not use those few minutes to take some deep breaths, think about the things you are grateful for right now. Look outside your window at the clouds, notice a bird, marvel at the world around you. Look at the other people scurrying around on their phones looking utterly stressed and be thankful that isn’t you anymore. 🙂
3)Listen….I mean, really listen when people are talking to you.
There’s nothing more disheartening about having a conversation or hanging out with friends and family and they get on their phones. You can tell they are tuned out while you talk.
This one may take more effort and that’s ok. Remember, we aren’t judging ourselves or others. Our loved ones aren’t doing it to hurt us; they are just caught up in the automatic pilot syndrome.
We can set the best example by really BEING there in the moment. Imagine how much more awesome life will get when we cherish these memories.
Yes, yes, we all know the benefits of meditation. Don’t get yourself all worrying and crazed if you don’t meditate. Just start…..even if you end up doing it just once a week. The important thing is to just do it, non judgmentally……hmmmm, see the pattern here.
How often do you check in with yourself and see how you’re doing, how you are breathing.
Why not stop and take a few deep cleansing breaths right before you head out the door for work or for your errands.
The most important thing to remember when learning to be more mindful is to take it easy on yourself. You’re going to forget most days, especially in the beginning; and that’s a-ok. There will always be distractions and you may just want to give up altogether and progress may seem slow.
Distractions are just opportunities in disguise, challenges offer us the ability to grow.
And remember to always come back to being grateful for what you are doing, and what you have right now.