Mindfulness incorporates a variety of principles specific to attitude. Each of these principles can help you find ways to live a more mindful life.
History of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a concept that goes back to the Buddhist influence of alertness, attention and awareness. It was the monks and nuns who practiced meditation and mindfulness, the broader population didn’t take interest until the 1960’s.
As immigration to the United States increased, so did the Buddhist culture and it’s teachings. By the 1970’s, Buddhist influence was on the rise and an interest in mindfulness practices became more prominent.
The Purpose of Mindfulness
The concept of mindfulness is surrounded by the idea of being present. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and there are many ways to practice mindfulness.
There isn’t really an end goal when it comes to practice. It’s simply something to be aware of in your every day life. It’s okay for your practice to go up and down, but taking a few moments each day to be present and mindful can have many benefits.
Being present and aware can help strengthen your relationships with not only others but with yourself. Today’s technology has our attention on a million things at once, which makes our brains constantly distracted.
Science shows that no matter how much we think we can, multitasking does not allow us to do the things we are doing well. It’s always best to give our full focus to one thing at a time.
Therefore, not only can being present help us improve relationships, it can also help us more successfully complete the tasks we are doing.
Mindfulness has also been show to have many other benefits:
Stress reductionConcentration and focusDecreased depressionOverall improved healthConfidenceSuccess at workLess burnout
There are 9 main pillars of mindfulness. Each key attribute focuses on attitude.
Non-Judgmental- allowing your thoughts to pass through versus acting on them.Patience- living in the present versus worrying about what’s next to come.Beginner’s Mind- being open to new experiences.Trust- trusting yourself with the decisions you make.Non-Striving- accepting ourselves for who we are in the present moment.Acceptance- working on the things that you can change instead of focusing on things you cannot.Letting Go- staying present in the moment instead of worrying about things we cannot control.Gratitude- being grateful for each moment and recognizing it.Generosity- helping others.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be a big undertaking. In fact, by trying to do it all at once, you are not practicing mindfulness.
Start small (small habits) and work on one thing at time, keeping the various pillars in mind. It can be a simple act you weave into your day, or an intentional change you make. Here are some ideas:
Start the day with saying something you are grateful for.Put all technology away during a meal.Do something nice for your neighbors.Make a plan for meals for the week.Take a moment each day to be still.When you get anxious, notice the present environment and say things you see, hear, feel, etc to focus on the here and now.Learn a new hobby.Meet someone new and be open to learning more about them
The idea is to stick to being aware and present in life. Instead of sticking with what you are used to and being complacent, try new things and be open to growing.
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