Have you heard of the word Mindfulness and thought, this doesn’t apply to me because it seems philosophical or yeah, I’m mindful and then gave no further thought to it? I am here to clue you in; it is not just for philosophical people, looking to expand their horizons. It is for you and me, for her, for him, for them… for everyone!
Let’s take a moment and become mindful.
First by reviewing the definition of Mindfullness:
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
The first definition is seemingly simply focused on being aware, while the second explains it more in depth. It is up to you how you interpret or proceed with your mindfulness. It is personal and completely your life to become aware of. I will say the more mindful you are of your thoughts and feelings, the more you are likely to be fully present in the moment. Thus, the less likely you are to overact or become overwhelmed in life.
Let’s dig a little deeper and discover the benefits, shall we? The key benefits as follows:
1. More Productive- Becoming mindful helps you focus and concentrate. It helps you be in the now and spend time on things that matter in the present moment. You become in control of your scattered thoughts and don’t let distractions run you in multiple directions. This allows you to complete task efficiently, plan effectively and become more productive.
2. Less Stress – Typically stress is imaging scenarios that are never going to happen, that you think may happen in the future. By being present, you learn how to redirect those thoughts and focus on the here and now. The present is all we have and is all we are guaranteed. Focus on it and reduce your stress levels.
3. More Confidence – Confidence comes from within. Once you become more mindful you start looking within. When you look within you start to understand where your lack of confidence began and understand your thoughts and feelings. You start trusting what you really need, and negative self-talk starts to diminish because you are now aware of it. You can start redirecting your negative self-talk to positive, thus resulting in more self-confidence.
4. Healthier Self – You are now paying more attention to the present moment. You are now noticing what’s in your mind and how it is effecting your body. You are now aware of the thoughts you have about food or why you’re not being active. You begin being aware of what you are eating, when and why you are eating. You now make time to exercise because you are aware of how you were spending your time previously.
5. Happier – Being mindful centers you so you are more adaptable to deal with reality. You are not consumed by worry or what-if scenarios, or disctracted by what the moment could become or what you want the moment to be. You understand you can’t control the moment, but that you control how you react to it. You are in charge of your feelings.
By now I bet your asking yourself, well am I mindful or how do I become more mindful. Great thoughts, because that means you are practicing mindfulness! Mindfulness is an innate characteristic each of us has. There are things we can do to foster it deeper within us. Such activities could include meditation, yoga, exercising, sports, reading, writing, painting etc. It is something to keep you in the moment reflecting only on yourself and your thoughts and feelings. Listen to your thoughts, don’t judge yourself. Just accept them as they come and be conscious of each thought that you have. Each of these activities gives you time to focus just on you, helping you become more self-aware and in control of your life.
P.S. You did great at mindfulness today just by reading this blog! It gave you the opportunity to explore the definition, become self-aware and reflect on ways you’ve been mindful or how you can become more mindful. I challenge you to give yourself at least 15 minutes a day to do an activity that helps you to be fully present in the moment to help you stay mindful.
Written by Breanna Peters, a creative soul helping humans become mindful, serving on the board for LEAP while encouraging love and equality. Please visit her and her husband’s website below and make a purchase to help spread awareness, love and equality: https://awearnessbystarseed.com/
Ashley Hunt specializes in public affairs, social and digital media, and event management. Ashley also serves on several community and local boards and commissions. She serves on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and is a board member for 50-50 in 2020, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, issue-neutral organization dedicated to achieving political equity for women in Iowa. Additionally, she currently serves on the Downtown Des Moines Chamber of Commerce’s LEAP Series Advisory Council.