There is a fast-growing trend about the benefits of mindfulness. Studies are showing how effective mindfulness is and why you should use it. Religions have applied it for countless years. Likewise, many businesses are starting to use different forms of mindfulness techniques to improve wellbeing among employees within their organizations. But too few people really understand mindfulness, its importance, or how to use it. Specifically, in spite all the data and information, people still are confused on how to mind their minds.
First, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. I’ve seen some experts and scholars state mindfulness refers to the psychological process of guiding our awareness to the current moment. This includes feelings, thoughts, physical sensations. More importantly, when feelings, thoughts and sensations come up, we do not judge them., but allow our minds to be aware only. In our awareness, we observe what is happening in the moment and then let it go as the moment passes. Secondly, mindfulness implies a degree of purposefulness and deliberate action to direct our awareness. However, this definition may feel too technical. So, I define it as purposely allowing your mind to be aware of what is going on in the current moment. Yes, your brain and cognitive processes are involved, and so is your body. Your environment can also participate in the process. Meaning, noises, situations, and other people can distract you. Third, most people see mindfulness as aa religious thing, and this may turn some people off. But, the irony is that while most religions use mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, these techniques are be used outside of faith-based organizations. So, you are not betraying your faith if you meditate. The goal is your intent and developing your mind. Think of mindfulness techniques as exercise to your mind, like jogging is to the body.
Mindfulness takes mental conditioning. We are not taught or conditioned to be mindful. We are bombarded by hundreds of messages and mental interference all day every day. We have a myriad of thoughts and emotions that occur, wane and waiver as we experience different moods and situations. We are often attempting to multi-task (although for human beings this is really an illusion). Likewise, we spend too much time ruminating on the past or about the future. So, our minds are always active and on go. All these things condition our mind to be all over the place. Therefore, we end up having mindful-lessness. The result is a depletion of our cognitive resources whereby having to rely on mental heuristics (psychological short cuts) so we don’t have to really think about the moment. We react without thought.
But, there is hope! There are techniques that you can use to recondition your mind towards developing your awareness. Again, while some of these methods are associated with different religions, they can be used for general health not just spiritual health. Therefore, the tips I present are not specific religion but in general context. Here is how you can mind your mind:
1. Practice meditation. Every day. Get in the habit of focusing your awareness on a specific task, feeling, thought, action. Take 5-10 min, 2-3x a day to meditate.
2. Read motivational and inspiring books. Reading is a great tool to condition the mind. target your reading on specific information, such as being calm, showing compassion, or loving others. For example, if you want to develop a positive mind, then read books and articles about positive thinking (like my book, Positive Thinking for Positive Being).
3. Write or journal about your experiences and thoughts. Writing is another great mind conditioner. Journal about your thoughts, experience. Develop personal affirmations. Write an evaluation about your wish-list. Writing gets you to think and guides your mind on reflecting. Then, you can re-read what you wrote—as discussed in point #2.
Minding your mind is a journey. It is important to remember to be patience wth the process. Just like it took years to condition your mind towards its current state, it will take time to recondition your mind to a new state. If you would like to learn more or receive 1:1 consultation on specific techniques that you can use to help you condition your mind towards mindfulness, contact Reid Ready Life Coaching or join our various social media groups.
Coach Dawn helps high-profile public figures, entrepreneurial moms, and boss wives achieve SMART-R™ goals and work-life harmony, while growing profitable businesses. She will partner with you so that you can identify how to find solutions and resources to overcome your obstacles, using her proprietary mindfulness coaching approach. Through Reid Ready Coaching, she also trains aspiring coaches or works with talent management teams on developing core coaching competencies to help prepare them for a rewarding coaching career. To learn more, visit: www.reidreadycoaching.com.