Living in an actual tranquil state of mindfulness. Nothing can bother us, stress and all negativity of everyday life are gliding off us like we are made out of Teflon. Who is not dreaming of a less stressful mind? There are a lot of mindfulness and meditation apps out there, and you can book courses online and offline and listen to meditation music. But true mindfulness is not achieved sitting on a cushion and meditating for 10, 30, 45 or 60 minutes. I met people before who tell me how long they are meditating with a smile on their face which almost says that yes, they have mastered it, but when it comes to our everyday life have we mastered mindfulness? Here are some tips how to transform your mindfulness and take it into your daily life.
Get off your Meditation Cushion
Okay, so yes, meditate, but understand that mindfulness and the state of mind you are in is practiced best in your everyday life. It is of no help if you meditate for 60 minutes, but in your daily life, you keep being a stress monkey. In mindfulness we watch our thoughts appearing but do not hang onto them, we instead notice them and come back to our breath. We understand that thoughts judge and evaluate situations, and we question them, we know a thought does not have to be fact. So in everyday life, we can implement this too. When we are stressed at work, or with our kids, family life, friends and yes with ourselves. We can use the same methods; we notice our thought process and reactions in daily situations and almost become an observer of them.
Misunderstanding of Mindfulness
The goal of meditation and mindfulness is not to stop thinking. You will never be able to stop thinking; you are not dead! What you do is calming down the thought process. Imagine a sea with a big storm and huge waves being your mind and mindfulness will calm it down, so you still have waves, but far calmer and not as massive.
Start your day with gratitude and end your day with gratitude. Get up in the morning and be grateful for another day. This day is unique and be grateful for every moment. Write three things down you are thankful for.
Sometimes people want to start an argument, want to bully people or are always complaining. Be kind and polite but still set your boundaries. Kindness is one of the most powerful tools and a massive indicator of using your mindfulness skills in everyday life. Never let someone else’s mood affect you. Learn how to de-escalate. Be kind and walk away when people want to drag you into their drama or anger.
Improve your Physical Health
Be mindful of what you eat and how much you exercise. When we are stressed, we are more likely to eat unhealthy food, which adds more stress to our body. Cut out alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and artificial sugars. Use the body scan meditation which is from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction). It is a beautiful meditation to re-connect with our body and understand what our body needs.
This is the Youtube Video for the Body Scan Meditation:
Write a Journal
Good old journalling is helping you to process your day. It helps you also to identify any triggers or distorted thoughts. You will be able to understand easier how to tackle negative thought pattern and questioning them. A journal also highlights your achievements and how far you have come. Very often we forget that we have developed and improved and learned new skills, however, we seem to forget this as it became a new routine. Use modern technology, if you are not a fan of pen and paper you can type on a computer, use a dictation app or even video record it. There are so many options out there these days.
Mindfulness is not a competition; it means nothing if you can sit on your cushion for hours and meditate and I am pretty sure that the teachers and gurus of mindfulness and meditation will agree with me. True meditation and mindfulness mean living your life with an awakened mind. Forgive yourself for days where you just feel stressed, this is normal. Nobody is perfect. Still, do your meditation practice but use all the different techniques to take your mindfulness into your everyday life.