Mindfulness is a way of approaching life that focusses on living in the moment and encourages whole body wellness. Although physical health is extremely important, Wellness is about so much more than simply having a healthy body. Mindfulness looks at the mental aspect of health and embraces a lifestyle of contentment-enjoying each moment as it comes. As the Buddha so aptly put it “Living 24 hours with mindfulness is more worthwhile than living 100 years without it.”
So how do you actually embrace Mindfulness? It can be difficult to put an abstract concept into words that apply to daily life, but here are a few basic steps you can take to begin your journey.
1). Accept your present circumstances, but don’t let them define you. Observation is an important part of mindfulness. You can’t live in the moment if you don’t first learn to stop and take note of it. Your current circumstances are very real so stop and notice them and accept them for what they are, but don’t stay there. Realize that you as a person are bigger than your circumstances.
2). Define your feelings and hold them loosely. Emotions are vague and temporary, but its important to learn to put them into words. When you aren’t aware of what you are feeling then every negative emotion tends to come out as anger or impatience. Clinging to that negativity turns it into bitterness and will begin to systematically destroy your health.
3). Slow down. This is perhaps the key to learning mindfulness. Just slow down. Enjoy your coffee more slowly. Asses your disappointment more carefully. Start with whole ingredients when you are making dinner tonight and enjoy the process of preparing them. Slow down enough to smile at the homeless person you pass every day on your way to work. Slow down and offer a word of encouragement to a coworker who has been struggling. Changing your pace of life will allow you to be mindful of your own experience as well as the experiences of others.
Achieving wellness means that you have found a balance in life that embraces the physical, spiritual and mental aspects of who you are. There are multiple parts that make up the whole person that is you. Learn to be mindful of that person and you will find that your journey toward wellness becomes richer and more fulfilling.