Be Mindful Be Self-Aware Be Happier

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Be mindful

Discover how being more mindful and self-aware delivers more happiness.

We live in a world that is spinning fast, our lives tossed into an ongoing hurricane where we are trying our best to keep our heads up and hold on to the things around us as best as we can trying to make the right choices we face daily. We make choices over and over and for many of us the fear of choosing wrong can overwhelm you to the point of not choosing, which is still a choice. 

Thinking about things you are experiencing repeatedly is common, and you are not alone. Dwelling on the past affects many people and can become a problem for some if they lack the tools and knowledge to deal with the emotional pressures that the mind can create.

Emotions start in the mind and we can actually feel them physically. Anger, happiness, anxiety e.t.c all produce real bodily sensations that we can sense. It is important to remain self aware of what we are feeling and why we are feeling this way.

This self-awareness, while important, it can have its own issues on our mental health. Self-awareness is essential in critical decision making. After all if we do not feel in control of ourselves then how can we expect to take control over our own destiny and circumstance?

As with any extreme, having an extreme amount of self-awareness can be detrimental. It can cause us to be too fearful of the consequence of taking action. Extreme self-awareness can lead us to being overly judgmental of our experiences and actions.

So how do we get the balance right? Well, fortunately help is at hand.

The concept of mindfulness originates from the teachings of Zen Buddhism. It is a beautifully simple way of interpreting the world. Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment. While the concept is simple, implementing it is challenging and requires self discipline. You will then focus your attention on the moment you are experiencing. Avoid passing judgment or applying any subjective thoughts and feelings. Simply observe what is happening both in your mind and around you.

Teachings on mindfulness describe the mind as a judgmental machine. There seems something almost natural about the way we form instant judgments on situation. We can trace the origins of this back to our days as hunter gatherers — where constant struggles of life and death resulted in a need for fight-or-flight decision making daily. Nowadays we form judgments on experiences as either good, bad or neutral.

The good and bad feelings generate the most attention while the neutral feelings slip through the net. Mindfulness encourages us to observe all things with the same level of attention but without passing judgment. It is as if you are looking at the world for the first time again.

This refreshing attitude allows our mind to be cleansed and renewed. A blank slate that is calm and rational in its actions. You can begin right away through the following exercise:

The next time you meet someone you know try to see him/ her through fresh eyes. Try to suspend all of your existing knowledge, thoughts and opinions. Try this with family members, close friends and colleagues. We can do this in any situation or environment — whether you are in a familiar or unfamiliar environment.

One of the most important benefits of mindfulness in terms of personal contentment and success comes from knowing whether you are thinking something that is unhelpful or unrealistic. Being mindful means learning to experience your thoughts without passing judgment on their ‘truth’.

Considering that many of the negative thoughts you experience when you are emotionally upset are not very helpful. It is much better to let these thoughts go, identify them as natural symptoms of a particular emotional state. Thoughts and emotions need to work in tandem with one another. The sooner you realize this and come to a place where you can view them objectively the better your personal feelings will become.

Increase your familiarity with the thoughts that enter your head when you feel down and depressed. Doing this will make it easier for you to recognize these thoughts as just that, thoughts rather than concrete facts. Once you have become familiar with the dark side of emotions, you are further equipped to cope and manage negative thoughts in reality.

You can practice mindfulness every day in every settings and this will help to enhance your appreciation of the pleasures of life. We all see and appreciate these pleasures differently so there is no wrong answer here. It is important to remember your difference makes you, you and you are allowed to enjoy your pleasures your way.

Need help on being mindful? Click here

 


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