Seven ways to create a mindful lifestyle
M — Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated or hard.
Mindfulness is merely coming into the present moment in a way that is curious, conscious and flexible.
There is no trick, no unique technique, no perfect meditation that will get you there.
There is no mystery about being aware of your emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
You can be aware right now.
Ask yourself the question, what is no thought?
And you are right into your awareness.
Become more aware of your inner world and the outer world through your five senses.
Take time to listen to sounds around you, feel your emotions, smell the coffee, see the colours, open your senses up to the world and the world will open up in return.
I — Live With Intention
For many of us, life happens to us; it is something that gets away from us and happens without us thinking about it.
We spend a lifetime living on autopilot without setting a direction or responding to life’s events.
But life happens for us; it is like a movie playing out in front of your eyes. And like all good movies, there is the whole spectrum of emotions in there.
Use your intentions to direct the story, it may take time to arrive on the scene, but eventually, it will make an entrance.
Feel what you what your life to be about, love, joy, happiness, creativeness, freedom.
Spend time visualising being those things; how would you think and act out your intentions every day?
Over time the movie will change and you’ll create a new story full of your intentions and not your reactions.
N — No Judgement
The irony is that to operate as a human being, we have to judge.
Self-awareness at its core is about responding to your behaviour, thoughts and feelings and discriminating between them
You live in a world of continually discriminating one thing against another. Tea or coffee? Coke or Pepsi? Hillary or Trump?
Judging is something that we do consistently, and we can’t live without judgment.
The path to nonjudgement is through taking the bigger picture view.
Seeing events and the world as is it.
Not judging anything as good or bad but just as is.
There is no meaning to the events in your life when they happen they just happen we build the meaning and the story around them afterwards.
Stuck in a traffic jam?
Let go of the judgements about if this is bad or good.
It’s just an event, judging it means you want to change it but it has already happened and who knows what the effect on your future will be?
D — Discover
Be more curious and open to the world and your behaviour, emotions, and thoughts. Mindfulness is about exploring the world with conscious curiosity.
We can become habituated to our experience so instead start to discover more about yourself.
Write your thoughts down, try new experiences, ask yourself questions that require meaningful answers.
Why am I surrounded by love?
What happens if I meditate for two weeks every day?
What new restaurants can I try?
What new hobby can I take up?
Treat your experience with constant curiosity.
When you feel emotion due to thought or experience, get curious about that experience.
Dive deep into your negative emotions see what happens when you sit with uncomfortable feelings and thoughts.
Does the world end or are you still here?
F — Forgive
Forgiveness is a crucial part of acceptance and is something you need to practice daily.
Begin by forgiving yourself.
You are a human being, and you can’t live in the world without doing some harm. It’s an inevitable part of being alive.
We’ve all hurt people, sometimes unintentionally sometimes intentionally. We all destroy the environment, meat eaters and vegans alike.
Feeling guilty about this adds to the burden that we have to carry. Put it down and live better in the next moment.
There are untold stories of people finding peace and redemption through forgiveness of others.
Forgiveness is a gift to yourself to release the negative emotions you have towards that person or event.
It doesn’t absolve the person nor mean that they do not bear the consequence of their actions.
But it does free you from living in anger, resentment and is the route to inner peace.
U — Surf Those Urges
In acceptance and commitment coaching learning to surf your urges is a skill we train regularly.
Urge surfing is deciding to sit and watch your urge to do something arise and then fall away.
It is used in addiction treatment and you can use it to help you overcome your unwanted behaviours.
Urges are like emotions and come in waves rising to a peak before subsiding to nothing.
Our mistake is to give in to the urge just as it peaks instead of allowing it to peak, subside and disappear.
In today’s society, we live in an abundance of temptations, sweet food, distractions, and drugs.
Next time you have an urge to give in to temptation, see if you can breathe into it and sit with it until it dissipates it’s easy than you think and gets easier with practice.
L — Love Yourself
Self-compassion is the route to success. We are often much harder on ourselves than we are on others.
Self-compassion isn’t a sign of weakness nor is it an excuse to let yourself off the hook.
Self-compassion is the practice of recognising that we are human and we are doing the best we can in life.
Especially when life doesn’t work out as we hoped.
People who are more self-compassionate are more resilient to life’s ups and downs.
They are more able to move through their shame and negative feelings and bounce back from adversity.
Love yourself more through healthy food, exercise, speaking to yourself kindly, building connections and having more fun.
Whatever this life thing is it happening all for you.
You’re the only one having this experience.
Mindful living isn’t about shutting yourself away to live a life of restrictions and avoidance.
It’s about getting out there and living all of it and experiencing all of the grief, the pain, the joy and the love.
What are you waiting for?