What is Mindfulness?
While working on obtaining a degree in psychology, I learned about the fundamental technique of mindfulness. I’d like to take a second to highlight the word mindfulness… You know when you are taking a shower for example and instead of letting your thoughts go wild, your mind has a moment of being in the present and thinking about how the warm water feels so good and how it’s engulfing your body in the warmth and how the sound is like a calm static blocking out the noise of the outside world for a minute. Well, that small moment when your mind is really paying extra attention to what is currently happening is called mindfulness. It’s the time you take to notice all of the extra details without your mind feeling like there are 10,000 tabs open.
Another example may be when the sun is setting and your kids are finishing their last beloved moments of playing outside in the summer sun as you feel the air begin to cool for the coming night. Since your mind is in the moment, you might take extra notice of things like how the freshly cut blades of grass look or how the light from the setting sun is shining just perfectly on your blooming flowers. You hear your kids giggling and playing while creating lasting memories. At that moment, you realize you’re going to remember this day forever. You wish you could make time stand still so you don’t have to go back to the stresses of life or watch your kids grow older than this day. That is a moment of mindfulness…
Mindfulness is a good way to cope with anxiety. It helps us realize what it is that makes us anxious and how we can prevent that anxiety in the future. If it isn’t preventable, then recognizing the cause will at least help us cope with being the trigger and hopefully helps us avoid that trigger in the future.
I have been reading a little more about mindfulness. I’m going to link you to my favorite book that I have come across. I have read a couple handfuls of books about mindfulness. Many of them seem just to suggest different forms of meditation or different meditation exercises. While that may play a part in mindfulness, that is definitely not all-encompassing of what mindfulness really is… I think those books miss a lot of the key components of mindfulness.
One book author that I found who thoroughly understood the topic wrote the book Real World Mindfulness for Beginners. You can find this book on Amazon: CLICK HERE. The Kindle version is affordable AND super quick and easy to obtain! If you read this book, PLEASE let me know what you thought of it! I would love to hear from you!
Here are some interesting ideas I read from this book:
- Apparently, humans are predisposed to a negativity bias. We immediately store negative things into the long-term memory. Our positive emotions just never seem as intense as our negative emotions.
- Anger is an emotion that is trying to speak to us. Anger usually comes about because we feel hurt. We need to learn this and be aware so that we can address being hurt instead of pointing fingers at other people.
- Self-care and self-compassion are both parts of mindfulness. We need to be more compassionate to ourselves; we need to be kind to ourselves; we need to be patient with ourselves. “Suffering is a part of life,” the author of the book states. Therefore, we need to give ourselves a break. Life doesn’t always go as planned, unfortunately. We need to realize and be aware that bad things don’t only happen to us; they happen to everyone!
- Mindfulness helps us to come to terms with the things we cannot change. It’s about acceptance.
If you don’t feel like you need yet another book on your list to read or perhaps you are just more of an auditory learner anyway, then you may be interested in this video course I found:
I wanted to find multiple lectures or a full course or something that delved deeper into the subject. The textbooks barely scratched the surface. I found what I was looking for in a course on Udemy.com called “Mindfulness Practitioner Course (Level 1, 2, 3 & Master).” This course (click here) says it is normally $200 but Udemy ALWAYS has deals pop up that make their courses $10-$20. So it is actually an affordable course! I have only gotten halfway through the Level 1 part of the course currently so I can’t say that I would personally recommend this course quite yet. But I am sure I will get my $10 worth at least! I plan to write a thorough review after I finish the course. I have been carefully taking notes so that I can give some extensive feedback later!
One thing this course pointed out, in the beginning, is that different people can expect to get something different out of mindfulness. Some people may use mindfulness to treat their anxiety or depression. Others may need help with their concentration or they may want to find peace within themselves. Mindfulness could potentially help you do either or all. The course has mentioned many times over so far that mindfulness is about making you aware of things in your unconscious mind that you are not currently aware of… Those things could be good things or bad things… but either way, it will help you in life to uncover them, either to confront the bad or to embrace the good. As I said, I will expand on this more after I have completed the course. I am so interested in this subject and I am really excited I found this course!
I believe that mindfulness is a very useful technique. It encourages good mental health and the maintenance of good mental health. More people in the world need to be aware of it and practice it. I hope my article helps spread awareness.
If you found anything I recommended in this article helpful, please let me know! I would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below!