So I’ve been meditating every morning for a week and I have to say that it has had a very positive effect. I think part of it was because I was already in a relaxed place to begin with. A place I haven’t really been in very often for awhile now.
First I want to say that I think being “happy” gets harder as an adult because we all actively think about it more than we used to. We progress on to the later part of our adult years and we all think we would have been more or done more by this time even when we have achieved most of what we want to do. And even the most fortunate people who have everything they want ask themselves, what now? Sometimes, having everything you want is exactly what makes you consider what it is you need to do now, to remain happy. It seems we are always looking for something to start or produce so that we feel like we are happy when maybe all we need to do is enjoy the ride, right where we are. And the way to do this is to become mindful in many ways about various things in your day.
Now what does “being mindful” mean? Have you noticed that you don’t feel effective unless you are multi-tasking 47 different tasks? People take vacations to get away from the constant multi-tasking if only for a few days when we could be getting the same feelings we gain from said vacation Every. Single. Day. Being mindful , to me, is being in the present moment and really noticing the world around you so you can be grateful and cognizant of everything you do as well as what others do and even what the world does. I think the goal of mindfulness is to become truly satisfied in each and every daily routine and practice, however, it begins with noticing.
To be honest, I feel like I have a leg up on this as I have lived in the present moment for quite awhile. I work hard at this, trying not to think about the past or the future too much unless necessary or in more rare times when it’s thrust upon you with no real escape from it. All in all, the past and future are sometimes inescapable and when that occurs it might be best to get some advice or make an appointment to talk with someone as any major thing often needs to be talked out. I’m also a huge fan of respectful communication and feel it can solve any problem.
Just as with anything else, I don’t think there is a right time to start being mindful. Don’t wait for something to happen or until you feel a certain way to do this. There is not a lot of pressure with mindfulness. You just have to start. Here is a list of very simple ways to be mindful.
- Download the App Headspace and meditate in the morning so your day is set off in the best way. (The beginning 10 sessions are free and are only 3-5 minutes a day) Also, anchor meditation to your routine (example: shower, meditate, brush teeth, dry hair, make-up, get dressed)
- Take a little longer to do each task in the morning (like a minute longer – we can’t have you waking up at 4AM for all this.)
- After eating breakfast, give yourself a minute to watch the weather. They report it every 5 minutes on the morning news anyway, you won’t be late.
- When you are eating lunch, do not work. If you can, go to the work room or outside. Or just focus on every bite to know if you are full or not. You can even lose weight or stay in shape by being mindful without any real pressure. It’s just a natural consequence.
- Don’t allow people to make you feel that you are not being effective if you are focused on one or two tasks only. We all know that efficiency doesn’t always lead to the best quality and I’m not even going to argue the benefits of having focus.
- Turn the TV off and put your phone away when you are “resting.” I’m not saying give up all your shows. If you knew how many shows I keep up with, you might be shocked.
- When you have a quiet moment, keep it that way for a few minutes and just notice what is around you or notice your thoughts.
- Go outside. Take interest in the animals and plants around you and definitely, definitely, definitely notice the sky.
For all you new moms and dads out there as well as people working four jobs, don’t tell me you don’t have a second. I’m calling you out, yes you do. And a few seconds is all it really takes spread out throughout the day. It could be the time in the car driving between those 4 jobs to prepare for the next or for the 3 minutes that your children sleep a night because from what I hear, children do not sleep and neither do their parents. It’s all about quiet, breathing and noticing and you are already doing one of those 24/7!
All in all, mindfulness can help with focus, anxiety, depression and many other ailments. It may or may not be able to solve these alone but can move progress along much faster. There is a lot or research to back this up. Just google it. It is also a good way to just notice your feelings instead of dwelling on them. It allows you to take a step back and ask if it’s really worth it to spend more time on something. You can see things from the outside instead of being too deep in it to pull yourself out. This is the same result you can get from talking to someone and when you are absolutely stuck, that is exactly what I suggest. Either way practicing mindfulness needs to start now whether you are in a good place or bad. Just…..start. Just….try it.
(Because I love Science….see link below as well as the direct quote from it.)
“We tend to blame our brain a great deal — for inability to remember, for making us feel bad, for being slow… — as if it was a capricious ruler whom the rest of our body needs to follow no matter what. We refuse to assume responsibility for our brain’s health and our mind’s happiness. If we did, we could experience this phenomenal organ becoming our loyal friend rather than an eternal enemy.”