12 ways mindfulness can enrich your life
Our world continues to become busier and busier.
You try to balance 2,3 or maybe even 4 tasks at once without taking a moment to experience any of them fully.
Think about it…
You travel to work whilst listening to music and planning your day ahead.
Eat your breakfast and lunch whilst catching up with colleagues and checking emails.
You watch TV in the evenings whilst texting.
You try to go to sleep but your mind is focusing on other things…
With the never ending tasks and distractions, you’ll find yourself losing connection with the present moment. The scary thing is, that most people don’t even realise it!
Have you been able to solely focus on each moment you have had so far today? Did you really feel present in that very moment? No distractions? No mind-wandering?
When was the last time you paused to gain an awareness of how your body feels?
When was the last time you focused on 1 task, from start to finish, with NO distractions?
Self-doubt is starting to sit in, isn’t it?
48% of people’s waking hours are spent mind wandering. That is, thinking about things other than what you should be focusing on.
Unless you actively practice fully experiencing the present moment, you won’t be living life to the full. You’ll miss out on the most precious moment, the only moment you can control, the present moment!
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment
It really is as simple as that.
Mindfulness encourages you to slow down, become more in touch with life as you’re experiencing it, and accept things as they are without judgement.
Practising mindfulness can transform everyday experiences and make them more vivid, fun, enjoyable and rewarding.
Here Are 12 Ways Mindfulness Can Enrich Your Life:
1. Make the most of the most pleasurable moments of your day
By being mindful about what you are doing, it helps you to make the most of your moments of pleasure. Learn to enjoy having a shower without your mind wandering. Savour that coffee rather than downing it whilst multi-tasking. Start to notice the natural beauty around you.
2. Become more in touch with your body
Mindfulness is not just in the mind, it could be anywhere in your body. Focusing on the present moment means focusing on our senses, so concentrate on your feet, your arms…just try and notice how your body feels and be in the moment.
3. See things as they really are
Our minds have a tendency to run wildly, reading negatively into situations, and predicting outcomes. Instead of allowing our thoughts to run wildly, we can learn to become mindful of unwanted thoughts for what they are – thoughts! Thoughts aren’t necessarily facts. Therefore, we can observe them as though they are black clouds in the sky. Clouds are transient. They come and go. Learn to allow unrealistic thoughts to pass by.
4. Improve your communication with others
Can you remember the last time someone was talking to you and you were day dreaming?
Practice mindful listening – Imagine that you might have to repeat what you just heard. Focus on what the person is saying, their facial expressions and body languages and you’ll be surprised how much more you can gain from everyday conversations!
5. Increase your productivity
Remember, 48% of people’s waking hours are spent mind wandering.
Mindfulness meditation helps boost your attention span and enable you to focus better on the task at hand. Essentially, becoming more mindful can help liberate the mind from distractions. In fact, studies have even should it helps people maintain focus on boring tasks; now we all need that!
6. Improves decision-making
Through mindfulness. you are learning to become more aware of the present moment. By focusing on the present moment when making decisions, it avoids negative thoughts about our past or future impacting on our decisions.
7. Mindfulness enhances creativity
Numerous studies have found that mindfulness meditation can enhance creativity. To avoid overloading you with how the brain works here is a simple explanation: Mindfulness meditations help boost your emotional resilience and improve your emotional intelligence. This simply means that there is less getting in the way of your creativity. Your mind has a greater sense of awareness and is better able to identify with creative thoughts. Your mind will be free to fulfil its full potential!
8. Increase attention span
Regular mindfulness meditation helps to improve your ability to focus your attention on the task at hand. Quite simply, remembering to be mindful throughout the day lessens the chance of your mind engaging in distractive thoughts.
9. Help improve sleep
Think of this as a daytime and nighttime cycle. It is scientifically proven that the more mindful you are throughout the day, the better sleep you will have in the night. Both in terms of a deeper and longer sleep. And guess what? The more sleep you have, the more able you are to be mindful throughout the day. Are you sleeping for the recommend 8 hours?
10. Grow in gratitude
Gratitude is about taking the time to notice and reflect upon the things you are thankful for. It could involve letting someone close to you know that you appreciate their support. Gratitude can also extend to simply appreciating the things around you i.e. nature, the sunrise in the morning, the little birds happily singing away and the trees as they provide fresh air for you to breath.. Take a moment to consider all the little things you are grateful for and make a list!
In the view of the Dalai Lama, you must first learn to be more compassionate with yourself, before you can be truly compassionate with others. You can read an article we wrote on why compassion is the ultimate key to lifelong happiness here.
Empathy is simply about being able to understand others and emotionally relate to them. The beauty is, through mindfulness, we can learn to be more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn to accept the present moment as it is and become more in touch with our emotions. In turn, this enables us to open our hearts to those around us.