Mindfulness has really taken off recently and everyone’s buzzing about it. I’ve even heard it mentioned in class this week and the other day I mentioned to a friend that I try to be ‘mindful.’
Over the summer, I was reading a great deal on healthy living, both the physical and mental sides, and had a pretty good idea of what I thought mindfulness meant. But I often feel that it’s good to revisit certain ideas or mantras we’re aspiring to follow, in order to reaffirm the definition and recommit.
So what does it mean to practice mindfulness?
In the most simplest terms, being mindful means being aware.
Aware of your environment. Aware of yourself, your actions and your emotions. And crucially, aware of other people, their actions and their emotions.
It’s so easy to jump to conclusions without thinking things through or properly evaluating a situation and taking all sides into consideration. So if you make an effort to tap into your consciousness and pause for even two seconds to be aware, you have a better chance of responding adequately to the situation. It’s a great way to reign in impulsive emotions and helps to maintain healthy relationships.
I find mindfulness especially helpful on bad days. You know those days when you wake up and everything seems to be going wrong, even down to the small, minute things? Yep, those days definitely need mindfulness to stem the flow of negativity. Often, I pair mindfulness with a bit of deep breathing. 1, 2, 3. Ok, what am I doing wrong in this situation and how can put my feelings in check? Usually, the feelings will subside and I feel better, partially because I haven’t reacted rashly but primarily because I feel good for doing something positive. For me. And for others (in a way). If I can send out positivity into the world, I’m going to choose that option. I’d rather smile than frown. And hopefully that will rub off on someone else.
It’s also really important to be conscious of how other people are feeling and acting. When speaking with friends, I try to be a good listener, picking up on their tone of voice, body language and what they’re saying. And if they express a problem, I try to help in any way I can. Sometimes people just need to talk things out with someone. Or other times, there’s actually a way to do something to help out. And when you are able to aid them, it’s wonderfully rewarding. That’s mindfulness stepping further and influencing physical actions.
Hopefully you found this post interesting and helpful in reflecting on mindfulness.
Let’s be extra aware of ourselves and others this weekend and Happy Halloween everyone!
~ The Healthy Lioness