Have you ever driven to the grocery store only to realize you were so deep in concentration that you don’t really remember how you got there?
Have you ever had your child say to you, “Mommy, you never pay attention to what I am saying”?
Do you find yourself constantly preparing for the future but not really living in the present?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is possible you might want to try being more mindful instead of having your mind full!
Many people hear the world “mindful” and think yoga or meditation. But being mindful is simply being aware of what is happening in the moment, ie: paying attention on purpose. It is about slowing down, and living with intention instead of running around trying to do too much too fast and accomplishing nothing.
Why Mindfulness Matters
It is easy to get caught up living inside of your head. Sometimes I feel as if my life is a constant chess game, always strategizing three moves ahead. But this can cause a lot of stress, especially when I forget to stop and just breathe! It turns out living mindfully has quite a few benefits, including reducing stress. When you live with intention you realize you can’t do it all, and certainly not in one day. By slowing down and acknowledging what you can and can not accomplish in the time you have you are much more likely to lighten you heavy load, which in turn alleviates stress.
It doesn’t matter if you work inside the home, outside of the home, or both, being mindful can also help you be better at your job. When you do one thing at a time, especially with purpose, you can accomplish more than when you do three or four things at a time poorly. This isn’t to say you should never multitask! But sometimes it is better to slow down and enjoy what you are doing as you are doing it instead of always looking ahead to the next thing that must be done.
Speaking of rushing ahead, being mindful also means celebrating a job well done. Sometimes I think we make our lists in the morning and unless we check off each item by the end of the day we feel as if we “did nothing” all day, but we actually got three out of seven projects accomplished. Instead of looking at what you didn’t do, living with intention means we should stop and pat ourselves on the back each time we complete a to-do on our list.
Clearing Our Mind Clutter
Now that you understand why mindfulness can be beneficial, here are five ways you can bring intention into your daily routine.
- Throughout the month of September I will be posting a daily action item to inspire you to live with purpose. Be sure to read them and add them into your schedule.
- Be grateful for your blessings. Being grateful for blessings will help you focus on what is really important throughout your day.
- Accept your imperfections as well as others. Acknowledging imperfections helps you realize that everyone is doing their best.
- Forgive yourself and others for mistakes made. Nobody is perfect.
- Remove negativity from your thoughts and words. Negative thoughts and words will only steal your strength and crush your soul. Replace any negativity with positive reinforcing statements.
There Is Beauty In The Now
When you begin to live a mindful life you will instantly see benefits.
Because you are now taking the time to breathe you shoulders will relax and lower to their normal position. Your spouse and kids will be thrilled because you are actually paying attention to what they have to say. You might find your relationship with both deepens and becomes even more rewarding. Little things that would normally set you off won’t be a bother because your stress level has been reduced. Your creativity might blossom because your brain has had time to relax and use some of the energy it was burning trying to do too much at once. When you stop and enjoy each moment as it happens, you will find you will start to see life as a joyful gift bestowed to you.
When your mind is full there is no room for being mindful. So stop, take a deep breath and just be in the moment!