This August, in line with our 2022 Mental Fitness Diaries, Resilience Agenda is talking about Making Mindfulness Simple!
Why? Because despite its amazing benefits, many people still report ‘being mindful consistently’ is either too hard, too time-consuming, or just not worth it.
You've probably heard of mindfulness before as a potential solution - you know, the solution to all of life's problems.
But are you 'doing' mindfulness in your daily life? Or has it gone in the “too hard” or “too wacky” basket? Maybe you just forget, or you haven’t found a method that works for you.
If the term isn’t new to you, you would likely have heard it being thrown around a million times over! Mindfulness has become a buzzword and a bit of a joke as the cure of everything. And so people have become cynical about it.
The reality is, you don’t have to move to an Ashram to be mindful. You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes to be mindful.
While those things could certainly help – you also don’t have to completely revamp the way you live overnight.
Be easy on yourself, and change the things you’re already doing into an exercise of mindfulness.
Walk mindfully, eat mindfully, communicate mindfully.
What does that mean exactly? When you’re walking along - pay attention to the sound of your feet, or something you see, and when your mind wanders, come back to that focus.
When you’re eating, turn off the TV and put away the phone and focus on the sensation of taste.
When you’re with someone, really be with them, listening attentively and actively.
What gets in the way?
You’ve probably got a barrage of thoughts going through your head. Sometimes they are troubling and we don’t like that. That’s okay if you let them just pass by without wishing they weren’t there.
Mindfulness isn’t about emptying your mind, or not thinking.
It’s about noticing what you’re doing, as you’re doing it. It’s about you choosing what you’ll focus on, and then when your mind inevitably wanders, you choose to refocus on your chosen point.
Why does this matter?
Because when you’re upset, you’ll have developed the skill of redirecting your attention where you want it.
Because when you need to focus or savour a moment, you have trained the skill to really be here now.
Because really, the sum of your life is just the sum of the things you paid attention to.
Isn’t it better to choose what you pay attention to rather than have someone or something else choose for you?