Mindfulness. What is it really?
Put simply, mindfulness is self-awareness – awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the world surrounding us.
Most of us find ourselves living on autopilot and mindlessly going through the motions; the advent of a new year is the time to reach for a more focused and positive life, free of unnecessary anxiety.
Here are 8 ways to ensure a more Mindful and Content You in 2017
1. Be More Creative
Remember that we are, by nature, creative beings and the urge to create is innately human – embrace it in your everyday life wherever you can. Harness your creative energy in your everyday activities. Whether it's doodles on your meeting notes or watercolours in the evening to wind down, find time for that need to create.
2. Be more Conscious
Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength: so stay present, consciousness is the core of being and it is essential to be conscious in every moment.
When we are awake and conscious, we are mindful, and heartful, towards ourselves, others and the collective. If letting go of the past or daydreaming about the future is difficult to quit cold turkey, try carrying a pocket-sized notebook around with you. Whenever you find your mind wandering, write down what it was wandering to: writing thoughts down is a brilliant way of getting them off your mind.
Stay curious. Curiosity will make you travel the world in whatever shape or form, meet new people and learn new things. It allows us to wonder, to risk and to explore. Curiosity breaks free from limitation and judgement: it is ultimate freedom!
4. Real Connection
True human connections are invaluable. To connect to someone is to share, grow and inspire. In the digital age, those connections are sometimes hard to hold onto, and, with our busy lives, we forget how essential they are. Make time for that chat, lunch or walk with that old dear friend, and experience how therapeutic a real connection is.
5. Embrace Transformation
Life is about change. If you have something which isn’t going your way or something on your mind, think: how can I change in my actions, approach or outlook to make it better? We are more powerful than we think. The best project you’ll ever work on is yourself: accept that change is a necessary part of that project.
We are ever-flowing, ever-changing. Life is a balance of holding on and letting go: sometimes, it is more beneficial to ourselves to do the latter. Think of that thing currently weighing you down right now and make a list of the benefits of remembering or keeping it, then a list of the cons. The cons list is longer, isn’t it? Let it go, as it no longer serves you on your journey. In the end nothing is constant. If everything remained the same, we would be bored!
7. Be Grateful
Be in love with every moment of your life: a bad moment now may reveal itself to have its benefits in hindsight.
The key to happiness is to give gratitude for all the happiness and the painful lessons, as they are part of our journey. It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.
8. Stay Balanced
Always strive for balance. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices. Balance in life is not something you find, but something you carefully create.
It sounds easy but it’s hard to implement! Give yourself tools to find balance, through mindful exercise like yoga or find a guide to go back to and assist with balancing again. When we are balanced, we radiate our inner contentment!