Mindfulness is a way of life our ancestors used for thousands of years, especially in the Eastern world. But some doubted its efficacy, at least until a few decades ago. That being said, its benefits cannot be contested. Adding mindfulness to your life can make a significant difference. It can help you be more positive and see the world with new eyes.
And it has even been shown that mindfulness can alleviate mental health issues such as anxiety. Mindfulness is rooted in spirituality, a concept that people used way before the birth of modern psychology. But that doesn’t mean that it has no substance. Even if you aren’t a spiritual person, you can extract many benefits from practicing it.
Still, people are not quick to spend the necessary time to build a new habit, especially when that habit doesn’t align with their worldview. Today’s society values pragmatism and visible benefits over spirituality. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But this way of life comes with a price. It brings a lot of stress, making it hard for people to see what’s truly important. Life has become about career and hard work, which is not necessarily bad.
But that means people don’t have time for social interactions or developing their hobbies and interests. People wake up, go to work, come back home, finish their chores, and, by the time they finish with everything, it’s time for bed. Maybe they go out once or twice a week, but most of their free time is spent on work and trying to advance in their career. Even for those who are not as centered around work, there are still many reasons why things can be challenging.
Negativity is a mindset that many people have. Maybe it’s a product of how they were raised, or trauma and hardships gave them a reason to expect the worst. But this mentality, coupled with the stress of everyday life, can make people lose all hope. And this is where mindfulness comes into play. If you integrate it into your life, it will change things for the better.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness refers to the brain’s ability to be fully present and attuned to everything that’s going on around a person. It seems pretty simple if you skim over the definition. But it has a deeper substance. As you’ve undoubtedly picked up by now, it was first developed by people in Eastern societies. It has roots going back hundreds of years ago, as it was based on spirituality and even some religious beliefs.
That being said, mindfulness does not contain any specific religious ideas. So, you don’t have to be religious to try being more mindful. Still, it stems from Hindu and Buddhist traditions and incorporates many aspects of different meditation techniques. Since the 1970s, scientists have studied mindfulness’s therapeutic applications in clinical psychiatry and psychology.
That was when people started to take it seriously, even in the Western world. But it still doesn’t get the credit it deserves, as people quickly dismiss it. Many people seem to think that mindfulness is just about willing yourself to be positive by ignoring the bad things and plastering on a smile. But that’s not what it is. Positivity is a big part of mindfulness, but there are mindful techniques to achieve a more positive mindset.
One of the most effective techniques is thought replacement. If you are one of the people who are prone to being skeptical about such practices, rest assured that this one is based on science. The way you think is one of the most important ways to change the course of your life. Your mindset can give you the strength to take matters into your own hands and act.
But most people get stuck in their ways, which are harmful more often than not. As mentioned before, negativity is one of the biggest threats to the integrity and health of a person. And yet most people seem to default to such a mindset. This is because life can throw so many obstacles in your path that it can be hard to believe things can be anything but hard.
But, no matter how farfetched it might seem, you can manifest a better life. Sure, you can’t just wish for something and expect it to fall into your lap immediately. But, if you envision exactly how your life will look, you can work towards achieving that dream. And for that, you need to learn to be more mindful.
How Mindfulness Can Change What Happens In Your Life
1. It Helps You Clear Your Mind
Meditation is a big part of mindfulness. If you want to start a more mindful life, meditate daily or even twice daily. And no, contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t just a time-consuming, useless game. It’s a technique that improves both mental and physical health.
And you can do it in as little as five minutes if strapped for time. Even those few minutes will help you clear your mind so that you can focus better. Meditation aims to block all distractions and focus solely on your mind and body. All you need to do is sit comfortably and close your eyes. If you are in a quiet room, that’s even better. But anything works if you’re in a pinch.
Focus on your breathing and use that rhythm as an anchor to get in tune with your senses. The aim is to allow yourself to feel and let your sensations take over. This will enable you to clear your head and be present, at one with your body. Not only does it help to manage your mental health, but it can give you some much-needed respite from daily struggles.
2. It Inspires Positivity
As was already mentioned, mindfulness is deeply tied to positivity. But you might be wondering why that is. A mindful person takes time to be present and enjoy the small things in life. But that doesn’t automatically mean that you will combat your negative outlook. Most people who are pessimists strongly believe that there is nothing good they can extract from life.
This might be because the only thing they have ever known are hardships. Maybe they were mistreated or abused by people who were supposed to love them. Maybe they lost everything they ever worked for. Or maybe that’s how their parents raised them to think. Negativity is a defense mechanism that many people use. But it is contingent on releasing the past and embracing the future.
Mindfulness can save you from a pessimistic mindset your whole life. You can focus on small things that bring you joy by directing your attention to the present. Plus, part of learning to be more mindful is incorporating some exercises into your life, such as thought replacement. This is an easy exercise that only requires that you keep a journal. You can achieve this without the journal, but it’s not as effective.
Whenever you have a negative thought, you need to write it down in the journal. Then, rewrite it as something positive. Do this with all the negative thoughts you have. That way, you can create a habit of creating positive thoughts. You will have your journal that you can read whenever you feel overly pessimistic. By being more positive in your daily life, you will have the courage to follow your dreams and create the life you want.
3. It Improves Your Quality of Life
One of the main reasons why people end up struggling with stress is because they worry too much about things that are out of their control. And they don’t take the time to be grateful for what they’ve already achieved. If someone worked for months to get a promotion, they wouldn’t take the time to celebrate that victory.
They will probably start working overtime to get the next promotion. So, the stress will build and build until it creates serious mental and physical health issues. Or maybe your source of stress and pain is that you don’t get along with your family and feel alone. Even if you have a great life, you still should make sure that you do whatever you can to keep yourself in shape.
Whenever your mind drifts to the past or starts worrying about the future, you should pull yourself back to the present. If you feel like you’re drifting, taking a moment to take in your surroundings is good. Instead of focusing on intrusive thoughts, try to focus on a sound or an image. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it can anchor you into the present.
This will help you if you struggle with overthinking or anxiety. Plus, the more you live in the present, the more grateful you’ll be for the things you have. Besides bringing you a lot of joy, this will improve your physical well-being and, thus, the quality of your life.
Final Thoughts on How Mindfulness Can Change What Happens In Your Life
If you’re struggling with taking your life into your own hands, mindfulness can be the improvement you’ve been looking for. Incorporating this into your worldview will improve your mental and physical health. But that’s not the only benefit of being positive.
The more mindful you are, the more likely you’ll be to take a chance on things and do the things you’ve been yearning to do. If you learn to live in the present, you’ll be more likely to take a chance at something new. You’ll have the courage to try a new hobby or go out more and meet new people.
Plus, you’ll have a more positive outlook on life, allowing you to do things without letting fear hold you back. Whatever you want your life to be, you’ll be able to achieve it.