Many of us in western society, when faced with the idea of mindfulness, are instantly drawn to the idea of meditation or a zen-like state. Mindfulness alone isn’t attached to any specific culture or philosophy, it is simply the state of an individual’s mind being aware or focused on a particular moment or task. Practicing mindfulness first requires an individual to decide what they want to focus awareness on and at what time or how often should the practice occur to receive the greatest benefit.
Mindfulness for goals
One common type of mindfulness is that which directs the mind to focus on moments to achieve certain goals; for example, losing weight. Someone who becomes mindful about losing weight will increase their awareness of what they eat and how often they eat; they may also become mindful about how often they are exercising. In this example, the person uses the goal to draw the mind awareness in moments that it can focus on making sound choices to influence choices that impact weight loss.
Mindfulness for anxiety
Another type of mindfulness help someone improve habits; increasing positive ones and reducing negative ones. If someone is struggling with anxiety or depression they can use mindfulness to raise awareness when they are feeling anxious/depressed, what is triggering these feelings and find activities or tasks to focus on to reduce these feelings. Being mindful about one’s spending habits can help save money or spend more on special moments.
Mindfulness for socialization
Mindfulness can also help us better connect to others and share common experiences. Being aware of what others are experiencing can aid us in assisting others in emotional, physical or spiritual ways. Someone who is aware of a corner where homeless individuals congregate may exhibit mindfulness and carry an extra bottle of water, a bag of chips, or a pair of socks to help someone in need.
Mindfulness for spiritual growth
Mindfulness can also be practiced in ways that increase one’s spiritual connections. Many philosophies, both eastern and western, offer practices that direct the minds self-awareness by focusing on various states of mind and or spiritual moments. Mindfulness in this realm is often referred to as mediation, contemplation, or self-realization and is focused on internal connections with the self and the divine.
Mindfulness for happiness
Mindfulness can help us perform daily tasks in ways that bring us greater reward and happiness. A parent may want to become more mindful on having less stress when getting the kids or spouse out the door in the morning. By being mindful about what takes place each morning it is possible to find new routines or ways of beginning each morning that make things easier and less hectic. A business owner who is mindful of the workplace may find that weekly purchasing donuts improves the mood in the workplace and increase employee productivity and improves sales.
Practicing your mindfulness
Once you decide on what you would like to be more mindful of you will need to incorporate time for awareness of these moments or begin to anticipate when they might occur so you can direct your focus appropriately. For example, it might not be best to place in your schedule time for spiritual meditation when you regularly expect to receive business calls. Using a planner or organizer will help you practice mindfulness by recording what and when you should bring your awareness to a particular moment or task.
Practicing and regularly reflecting on your mindful moments will help you get the most out of what you want to be aware in your life. The more you integrate your mindfulness the easier it will become and eventually, you may establish a completely new way of thinking where the mindfulness becomes a natural means of focus.
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