“Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different from the way they are.”
– Allan Lokos
The Hidden Power of Mindfulness
For years I’ve dismissed mindfulness as a corny pseudoscience for people who are attracted to religion and other metaphysical nonsense. This was mainly do to the type of people it attracts and the method of practice (meditation).
I didn’t think to do enough research either because it didn’t seem like I’d have much use for it. After all, I’m already in control of my life, right? Well, so I thought. So finally, after seeing the idea thrown around by some well respected people, I began to get a little more curious about meditation and mindfulness. After all, a lot of these people, I have looked up to in other areas of life.
First, let me define “mindfulness”. For the lack of an official definition, it simply means “The state of total, rational awareness and the absence of irrational impulses”. In other words, being in complete control of your senses and not being a victim of your circumstances. Being proactive, rational and stoic in any those same, so called uncontrollable situations is true mindfulness. Taking the best course of action, regardless of how we feel about the final results.
Moving Forward with Mindfulness
Now that we got the definition out of the way, we can start to see how many people suffer from the lack of mindfulness in the world. Those who cry and stomp their feet every time something goes wrong.
The root of mindfulness starts by taking responsibility. Most people don’t like to use the words “self improvement” because they feel like if they need to “self improve”, it means something is wrong with them anyway. I feel like that’s a flawed interpretation. Of course, it’s a waste to apply so much time to improve certain areas of like that are just fine being done standard. On the other hand, self improvement, to me, means taking what is already good and refining it into something more efficient and effective. In order to do that, we must be mindful. We must be aware of all the little details that are making up the details of our life.
Meditation is a great way to be mindful. Sitting still, clearing your mind and focusing on small, subtle things like your breathing are very rewarding. They may not seem like it, but it’s a great way to relieve stress and train yourself to be more mindful. How you ask? Well, how often during the day do you do thinks without thinking about them? How many things are you feeling through out the day that you don’t even notice? Meditation teaches us to catch these subtle feelings and sensations. We start to focus on things we usually ignore like breathing or the chair touching out back while we’re sitting.
Grow Over Time
Over time, we begin to realize that we are gaining a lot more awareness of our surrounding. We can see things that we couldn’t see before. We begin to feel things we never have. We can even begin seeing and forecasting behaviors and actions in advanced.
You can start with simple phone apps like one minute relaxations where you sit still. The Apple Watch has an interesting app called “breath” that helps with that.
Try it out and let me know how it goes for you guys!