What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is having the ability to live in the now without any judgement or interpretation. To be aware of your breathing, every thought that enters your mind and each bodily sensation you feel.

introduction to mindfulness

Introduction to Mindfulness

About 7 min reading time
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Mindfulness is having the ability to live in the now without any judgement or interpretation. To be aware of your breathing, every thought that enters your mind and each bodily sensation you feel.

Since the western world adopted mindfulness from the Buddhist meditation, there have been many studies into the benefits of being mindful. It’s proved to have a positive effect on both our physical and mental health.

Being mindful is often thought to only be a meditation technique, however the more we practice the more mindful we become, and we can use this daily to enhance our lives and the lives of people around us.

This introduction will hopefully give you a clear idea on how to be mindful, the changes we can expect when we are mindful and much more.

There are 7 main principles to mindfulness and we will go through them step by step so you can have a clear understanding of what mindfulness actually is then you to can become mindful.

  • DO NOT BE JUDGEMENTAL
  • LEARN TO HAVE PATIENCE
  • KEEP AN OPEN MIND
  • BUILD SELF TRUST
  • DO NOT STRIVE
  • ACCEPTANCE IS THE KEY
  • LEARN TO LET GO

DO NOT BE JUDGEMENTAL

In everyday life we constantly judge, whether it’s about a humans appearance, an object or even someone’s personality. We need to stop getting caught up in judgement and learn to be an impartial witness. Our ego is a huge problem when it comes to being judgemental, so when you are able to shut down the ego, it allows you to become more mindful. Perhaps we think negative thoughts about someone, this is still judgement. Getting caught up in this constant stream of judgement and our reaction to it does not benefit us internally or externally. You can have an opinion, and if you realise it’s not positive then clear it from your mind.

LEARN TO HAVE PATIENCE

In today’s fast paced world most people want everything to happen yesterday. This is not possible and we need to accept that everything will happen in it’s own time. People say patience is a virtue, it’s not only a virtue it’s a form of wisdom, we will learn with time that everything will unfold when the time is right, rather than when we keep wanting it to unfold. Being patient will also bring the optimal outcome, for example if you’re baking a cake and take it out of the oven five minutes early, it won’t look as golden and perhaps won’t be cooked through in the middle. We learn from rushing things how important it is to be patient. Remember the old saying ‘good things come to those who wait’

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

It’s easy to say keep an open mind, and many people claim to have an open mind, yet when a topic arises about their core values, the person is certainly set in their ways. Our core values often prevent us from taking in new ideas or suggestions as the core values are what is instilled in us from birth. Being open minded allows us to explore new possibilities, it allows us to reassess our own current ideas and perhaps learn something new which could aid in our life where we have been struggling. It’s been said where nothing has been decided then anything is possible, this is so true and we need to have an open mind to be able to explore other options and possibilities.

BUILD SELF TRUST

Trusting ourselves is a major part of being mindful, many people say they trust themselves, however on a deeper spiritual level how many actually do? When we speak of trusting ourselves it can mean our instincts, our bodily sensations. When we are in a situation and we feel something is wrong, don’t ignore this as it’s your natural mindfulness at work. Trusting ourselves also means we understand it’s OK to make mistakes, but we must learn from them. Allowing ourselves to make a mistake then try and avoid responsibility isn’t how we are going to grow. Trust yourself and live your own truth, even if everyone around you disagrees, trust yourself to know you are making the right decision and again don’t allow the ego to control your mind.

DON’T STRIVE OR WE MISS OUT

Sure we all look forward to upcoming events, celebrations and such. However mindfulness is all about living in the moment. All too often people are talking and planning for the coming weeks, this does not allow us to be in the moment and enjoy current situations. If we are present in the moment we can enjoy and appreciate what we have currently, and we can be grateful for what we have. Many people miss out on these lovely memories as they are too busy planning for the future. How can we enjoy what is happening right now if our mind is wandering off to next week. Next week will come and you’ll miss that too as again you’ll be planning for the following week. Slow down, breathe and be mindful of this very moment.

ACCEPTANCE – A VITAL KEY TO BEING MINDFUL

Acceptance is the key to becoming mindful, if we don’t accept something as it is, then we will never be able to let it go or move on. Acceptance of responsibility, acceptance of blame, acceptance of guilt and so on, they can sometimes be thought of as negative by someone, therefore the person doesn’t want to accept it. However by not accepting the situation as it is, it will never be resolved. Perhaps a situation can appear externally to be resolved, but internally it will be festering and preventing you from being the best version of yourself. Once you accept something for the first time, you’ll realise the freedom it allows you and how easy it was to move on from the situation. Acceptance will then become easier and part of your being mindful lifestyle. Acceptance of seeing things how they are can sometimes be painful, however it will lead to inner peace happiness.

LEARN TO LET GO

Letting go can be difficult, and often comes as a follow up to acceptance. There are many examples of how we let go, and they could range from bad thoughts about an ex-partner to someone spreading rumours about you. Whatever the situation, letting go brings us a renewed sense of freedom, it removes a dark cloud from above our head. When we have all these external and internal issues that keep entering our mind, it’s almost impossible to be mindful. Having a clear conscious and no stress allows us to live as the best version of ourselves. Letting go of past or current situations gives us the blank canvas we require so we can focus on living in the now. If you need help with letting go, we’ve written a post about the Spiritual Effects of Unforgiveness which can give you some guidance on how to forgive and let go.

We hope this basic introduction has given you a little insight into how to become more mindful. All the articles inside will help you on your path to become more mindful and hopefully answer any other questions you may have. We look forward to growing with you on your spiritual journey. For more information about mindfulness and the history you can read here

Featured Image by MarionF from Pixabay