Ways to Develop Daily Focus and Mindfulness
Have you ever felt that life is going too quickly for you? Do you feel as though you could benefit from taking a slower, more focused and more reasoned approach to life? Most of us have at some point felt that things are getting on top of us, suffocating us, and have been at a loss to decide what to do about it. If this describes you in any way, perhaps it would be worth considering mindfulness as a solution.
What is mindfulness? In short, it is a means of paying closer attention to the moment and living in it. It involves careful consideration of your thoughts and feelings and also the wider world and how they are related. It is a way of remaining in control of yourself from one moment to the next. Its aim is to enable you to reconnect with both your body and the various sensations it experiences, including sights, sounds and smells – even something as simple as noticing the texture of something you touch, such as wall or a carpet at home. It is about ceasing to live purely by our thoughts with no perception of how these thoughts drive our emotions and actions.
Mindfulness can help us to rediscover and learn to enjoy simple things in life that are often taken for granted. It is also useful in helping to identify when thoughts and other factors are taking control and to identify and put into practice strategies which can counter this. Many people have issues that frequently prey on their minds and over which they can often brood. One effect of mindfulness is questioning whether this is a productive way of dealing with it and whether any alternatives are possible.
How can you be more mindful in your day-to-day life? Believe it or not, you already possess all the tools you need to succeed at it. The first thing you need to do is remind yourself to be more alert and more aware of the world around you and the various experiences you have in terms of thoughts, feelings and bodily reactions. You should aim to do this every day.
The next thing to do is to notice the everyday occurrences that you may not have given much, if any, thought before. For example, if you are out for a walk or even outdoors generally, try to acknowledge if the wind is blowing on you and how it makes you feel. Look around you and make small, general observances as to where you are and if anything has changed since the last time you were out. These examples may strike you as being remarkably small, but they go a long way to alter the “autopilot” mode we often go through life in. They also open our eyes and offer fresh perspectives on otherwise mundane things.
It is vitally important that you practice mindfulness regularly in order for it to be effective. It can be useful to select a certain time of day, perhaps a daily walk or the journey to and from work, to engage in the practice. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes and the more you will gain from it.
Creativity and experimentation are key factors in making mindfulness work. If you are a regular walker, for example, try taking a new route once or twice a week, or if you have a favourite restaurant, experiment with different ones. Activities such as these broaden the mind and open the eyes further, both of which enable us to experience the world anew.
It’s important to be mindful of your thoughts during mindfulness. Some people say that whenever they stop what they’re doing, they are swamped with all different kinds of thoughts. It’s important to remember that mindfulness is not intended to get rid of these explicitly, but to see them in a different light and take a different approach to them. Mindfulness has been compared to being in a bus station and watching different buses come and go without having to board any of them.
Some people find it useful to assign certain names or tags to thoughts and feelings. You may say, for example, that this is the feeling that keeps me from doing the best I can at my job. I will not let it win. Another example may be, this is depression or this is regret. Think about certain feelings as opponents which you must know and identify in order to engage with them.
Don’t forget that while mindfulness can be extraordinarily helpful, it cannot be the answer to everything. Nonetheless, medical
professionals point to its success in environments as diverse as health, education and prisons. Research into which sections of society benefit the most from mindfulness is still ongoing. Daily mindfulness can also be used in conjunction with more formal types of mindfulness, such as mindfulness meditation, which involves sitting in silence and paying close attention to parts of the body, breathing, thoughts and sounds.
Numerous celebrities have spoken of how mindfulness has benefitted them in both their personal lives and careers. These include US tennis champion Serena Williams, journalist and former First Lady of California Maria Shriver, the chairman of the Ford Motor Company Bill Ford and the media personality and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.
Mindfulness helps to re-evaluate our lives and look at issues we face through a fresh perspective. It helps us to take a closer look at our thoughts and feelings and the part they play in our day-to-day lives. If you find that life is getting on top of you and emotions like depression and anxiety are out of control, if you’re simply looking for a way to enjoy life more and pay closer attention to the minute details of the world around you or even if you just want to understand yourself better, then maybe Meditation Training and mindfulness is for you.
This article is for educational and informational purposes only and must not be used or taken as a substitute in any form for any medical advice, medication you are currently taking or any alternative treatments without the prior advice, guidance and consent from your medical doctor. Please speak with your doctor fist before making any changes to your diet or medicine as a result of reading any information laid out on this website or in this or any other articles.
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