Mindfulness is a centuries old therapeutic technique, used for focusing our awareness on the present moment... on our thoughts, feelings, actions and bodily sensations RIGHT NOW... so that we don't get distracted by our environment and the inherently flighty nature of our mind. Mindfulness reduces stress and improves effectiveness in our day-to-day life. It helps us control our mind, so that we can use it to our maximum advantage.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a well-known author and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts, says - "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally."
Psychologist Scott Bishop describes mindfulness as a “nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, sensation that arises... is acknowledged and accepted as it is.”
When we are mindful, we do things "purposefully", not just for the sake of completing them. When we are mindful, we don't keep switching to and fro between regrets about the past and worry about the future. When we are mindful, we don't "react" to our experiences, we simply witness, and, if required, we "respond".
So how exactly does mindfulness affect our happiness quotient?
5 Ways In Which Mindfulness Leads To Happiness
1. Mindfulness Makes Us More Grateful.
Our life is full of countless blessings. From the air that we breathe, to our bodies, which we so carelessly neglect. But our minds our usually so "full" that we never notice how blessed we are. If we start paying attention to our life, moment by moment, we will find that we have a million things to be grateful for every single day. An attitude of GRATITUDE (Covered under 'G') makes way for happiness in life.
2. Mindfulness Increases Productivity.
When we do something with all our focus and attention, our memory and concentration automatically increases. We are able to learn more, faster. We are able to recall things better. We tend to make fewer or no mistakes. Our quality of work improves. And we are able to complete the task at hand quicker.
3. Mindfulness Makes Us Content From Within.
When we are fully focused in whatever we are doing, we know that we are giving it our best. Whether it is the preparation of an important client presentation at work, or something as mundane as brushing our teeth in the morning. We know we haven't forgotten anything. We know we haven't made any careless mistakes. We are confident that we have given our hundred percent. And that gives us a sense of inner satisfaction.
4. Mindfulness Cuts the Negative Chatter In Our Minds.
Human minds can hold only one thought at a time. Most of the time when we get caught in a loop of mental negativity, it happens because we don't even realize that we've started on thoughts that make us unhappy. Because we haven't been paying attention to what we were doing. When we learn to be mindful, the moment we notice that a negative thought has crept into our mind, we can instantly change it with some other positive thought. Mindfulness helps us see thoughts as clouds floating by through our consciousness. It shows us that WE have the POWER to decide which thoughts will stay and which won't.
5. Mindfulness Improves Our Inter-Personal Relations.
Would you like it if your partner, despite knowing the fact that you're an asthmatic and allergic to cigarette smoke, started smoking around you? Forget allergies, let's talk about likes. Have you never been annoyed at your mom for packing something in your school lunch box that you hated? We expect our closed ones to be "mindful" of our needs, don't we? Likewise, we also tend to get closer to people who show sensitivity to our needs.
Despite all its benefits, mindfulness is not our "default" state. It has to be developed by conscious effort and practice. There are three key elements of mindfulness:
- Intent: You must consciously WANT to be fully aware in your present moment (and do this repeatedly, whenever your awareness shifts).
- Focus: You only need to pay attention to what is happening RIGHT NOW. What you are doing, what you are feeling, what you are thinking, what does the air feel like around you...
- Attitude: Just watch. Do not judge. Do not react. Only witness.
Do you try to practice mindfulness in your daily life? If yes, then how do you do it? How has being mindful improved your life or your relationships?
This is my 13th post for AtoZ2017.
I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook.
You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.
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