Have you ever offended someone by accident, allowed a negative thought to linger for too long, or behaved unbecomingly? The answer to a least one of those should be yes. We have all fallen short at one time or another.
What if I told you that by paying a little bit more attention to your actions, you can improve your quality of life. I know it sounds like a “no duh” kind of solution but being attentive is not as easy as it sounds (The average attention span of a person is only eight seconds).
Mindfulness is the practice of having a conscious awareness of yourself. This means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The benefits of this type of awareness spans from less stress and improved communication skills, to reduced levels of anxiety, and overall improved mental health.
By becoming consciously aware of your thought’s feelings and behaviors, you can change how you respond in certain situations. This is done by taking intentional actions towards understanding yourself. Mindfulness is knowing at any given moment how you are thinking, feeling, and behaving, and why. The challenge most of us have with doing this is that mindfulness requires focus.
It is a habit that we have to develop and apply regularly to benefit from. The goal is that by developing a habit of mindfulness one will be able to identify when they are not feeling or acting like themselves, and make a real time adjustment to their thoughts, feelings, or behavior.
People Practice mindfulness by:
- Carefully picking their words before speaking.
- Noticing changes in their mood.
- Taking time to process their thoughts.
- Paying attention to others.
- Focusing on the present.
Mindfulness has help me in a multitude of ways. I have used it to cope with stress, doubts, depression and traumatic experiences. During my bout with unemployment, I got into an accident that beat me up pretty badly, both mentally, and physically. At the time I was also grappling with the fact that I had just lost out on a great opportunity. About a year or so later I was offered and accepted another great opportunity with a new employer.
During the first week of the job I would have random involuntary memories of my car accident. One day while at work, I had a memory that hit me with such intensity that I was incapable of working effectively. After taking some time to think about what I was experiencing, and why I was being triggered at work, I realized that my car accident, and the subsequent events I associated with that experience were traumatic for me.
Mindfulness helped me fully process those thoughts and emotions as well as uncover and deal with other repressed feelings. Because I was consciously self-aware, I was able to change my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which ultimately allowed me to start changing my life.
You can see similar results if you are willing to put in the effort to develop a habit of mindfulness. When we think better, we can behave better. By co-opting various mindfulness techniques into your daily routine, you can improve your quality of life.
In my new mindfulness guide I walk you through the benefits and components of mindfulness as well as provide techniques you can use to develop your habit.
Stop accepting your circumstances. We are not what we experience, and your life can improve if you want it to. When we become more aware of ourselves, we can change how we interact with the world around us.
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