How many times have you arrived at your parking spot at work, but you didn’t remember the drive there?
Because this is something you do every day, you probably don’t even have to think about it anymore. Sure, you arrived there safe and on time (hopefully), but you didn’t travel there mindfully.
Now imagine how many other areas of your life you’re probably regarding with the same lack of attention. It could be your marriage, your work, or your friendships. If your mind isn’t present, you aren’t giving your whole self to the people around you or to the experiences you’re living.
Stop Missing Out On Life
By practicing mindfulness, you can start enjoying all the little moments of life that you probably never realized you were missing.
What Does It Mean to Be ‘Mindful’?
Mindfulness is actually a type of meditation that can be practiced just about anywhere.
Unlike being hypnotized or in a state of trance, when we practice mindfulness we are trying to be as present with our minds and our environments as possible. By creating harmony between our minds, bodies, and actions, we’ll learn to be more aware of everything happening around us.
Whenever we feel stressed or worried, it’s almost always about something in the past (which we cannot change) or the future (which we cannot know or control)—and never about the present moment.
It’s only in the present, though, that we can take action and be productive.
By learning to be mindful, you can unlock some life-changing benefits:
1. Improve Your Personal Relationships and Productivity
If you return home from a long day of work but your mind is still at the office, your communication and interaction with your family will suffer.
Likewise, if you arrive to work but are still thinking about family troubles, your productivity will certainly take a hit.
Being more present in every setting allows you to focus on who you are with and what you are doing so that you can apply yourself 100%.
2. Handle Stress Better
Focusing on the present moment will ultimately teach you to accept stressful situations instead of avoiding them. Once you learn to stay calm and not sweat the small stuff of yesterday or tomorrow, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to handle stress when it does arrive.
Think of how much more you can accomplish if you aren’t constantly running from situations that seem so much scarier than they actually are!
3. Improve Your Health
By focusing on the present and not allowing yourself to waste time worrying about the past or the future, your stress levels will naturally decline.
Stress doesn’t just put you in a bad mood and wreck your relationships. It also takes a toll on your heart, blood pressure, physical comfort, and ability to sleep.
Practicing mindfulness can help you counter these negative effects and improve your overall sense of well-being. You might even live longer as a result.
4. Break the Cycle of Negative Thoughts
We all know that once we let a negative thought in, it’s extremely difficult to ignore.
Often one little bad thought can spiral into larger ones, and before you know it, your full attention is being consumed with thoughts of things that will probably never even happen.
This only causes useless suffering and keeps you distracted from what you could actually be doing.
By practicing mindfulness, you can train your mind to identify these thoughts when they inevitably come knocking, but to not let them carry you away.
Instead, you can focus on what you are feeling right now—not what you felt ten years ago, or what you might feel tomorrow.
5. Get to Know Yourself
Being mindful of your thoughts and actions means observing them without judgment. (Judgment will only result in that downward spiral of negative thinking.)
If instead you act as an observing bystander to your thoughts, you can learn a lot about what is important to you.
Maybe you’ll recognize room for growth and set new personal goals, ones you wouldn’t have even thought of before. Or, maybe you’ll realize there are parts of yourself that you really like and are proud of, so you can stop being so hard on yourself.
This self-discovery can prove invaluable as you transition through new phases in life and reflect on your ever-evolving goals and priorities.
Start Practicing Today
A little mindfulness can go a long way. To learn how you can start living more mindfully today, check out our post on How To Practice Mindfulness.
Has living more mindfully helped your life? Feel free to share in the comments below!
If you liked this article, you might also like:
- 5 Best Mindfulness Books for Reducing Stress
- 15 Inspiring Meditation Podcasts
- Why You Should Meditate Daily
- Meditation Basics: A Busy Person’s Guide to Mindful Focus
- 7 Unexpected Habits of Happy People
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