When you hear the word “mindfulness”, what comes to mind? Is it a skill you practice daily? occasionally? never?
In today’s busy world, our minds are racing like a bat out of hell!! It is hard to calm that inner storm.
I know that I struggle almost daily with a VERY busy & jumbled mind because of all the STUFF I try to cram in there & remember!! I used to have a terrible time trying to get to sleep at night because I was always thinking about what I had to do tomorrow or I was going over something that had happened during the day that bothered me & was usually unresolved!
Before you tuck tail & run, I am not taking you on one of those “woo-woo” trips!! At least I don’t think I am!! ::tee hee::
The skill of mindfulness is really nothing more than having your mind in a relaxed state & paying alert attention to the present moment.
The skill of mindfulness does not require hours of silent meditation. It does not require you to be a Yogi. But, it DOES require you to take control & calm the turbulence in your brain.
Okay, in today’s world, especially in business, as entrepreneurs, how do we do that?
We focus acutely on the present moment & shut everything else out!!
For me, mindfulness is a self-reflective practice that I start each morning. I find it is the most effective way to a clearer & more peaceful mind. I am more creative & happier & the usual self-sabotaging thoughts vanish.
When you are focused on the moment in mindfulness, non-judgementally, things around you tend to slow & you experience a heightened awareness of what you are focusing on.
You are getting ready in the morning. You have an upcoming meeting. SO…..decide that instead of thinking of that upcoming meeting while brushing your teeth, focus on the taste of the toothpaste, the feel of the brushes bristles, the taste & feel of the water.
You are consciously taking yourself off autopilot!!
Normally when you are trying to focus, your thoughts reference past experiences & outcomes & project that into what you think will happen. This process actually bypasses the present moment. It sets you on “autopilot”.
This can trigger our body’s stress alarm & tension & we find ourselves trying to prepare for the worst.
Something I have done, that I am SURE you’ve NEVER done, is to look at all the possible scenarios & try to avoid the negative outcomes by focusing on them. Then you use the excuse that you are just looking at all sides of the situation so you will be prepared…..JUST IN CASE.
THAT is NOT mindfulness!!
If you are continually preparing for the worst, you will find your body stressed, you will feel exhausted & be unable to sleep well. jAND…you will have negative outcomes….self-fulfilling prophecies. It is what you focused on!!
This is what I do if I sense I am in a stressful situation & having trouble reaching a state of mindfulness.
I look at the situation in 2 ways….as an outside observer & as the one experiencing the situation. The experiencing part is easy because that is our natural state, We are caught up in the “what ifs” & worst case scenarios. Our mind is racing, heart rate increases, blood pressure increases & we stress our body.
Stepping outside & looking in takes some practice, but it is SO worth the effort to learn the skill!!
Being the outside observer, you can sit back & calmly look at the situation & see that there are various outcomes that are positive as well as the negative thoughts that are bombarding you. When you enter the outside observer, you think more rationally, coolly, & your wisdom comes forward & reminds you that all situations are transitory, that even if bad or uncomfortable, it will pass!!
When you practice the skill of mindfulness, you allow yourself the time to calm the turmoil in your head so you can be fully present & non-judgemental of the situation.
If you practice this, you can retrain your brain to remain more connected to your being, enhancing your life & allowing you to live more happily.
Here is my routine for retraining my mind to mindfulness:
- My Foundation ~ Each night before I go to sleep, I do a brain dump of every thought & worry I have been carrying around all day. sometimes I find that the brain dump list is the same, night after night. I find I sleep much better when I do this.
- I take 5min in the morning when I get up to look at my brain dump list from the night before. I compare it to my planner to make sure I have all important things noted & schedu;led or added to my ToDo list.
- I also take 5min to sit quietly & I focus on my breathing. I listen to the sounds around me. I feel my body’s sensations. I am making myself acutely aware of my present situation. I am being mindful.
- I also do some stretches in the morning to wake up my body.
- During the day, if I find myself drifting into that chaos that we just dispelled, I focus on a word. My word is “Now”. I just repeat the word over & over in my mind. It allows me to calm my mind & focus on the present moment, not go down the “what ifs” road.
- If I know I am going into a stressful meeting or situation, I clear my mind of all preconceptions & look at it as a NEW experience. I think about the exciting mystery & adventure that awaits me. I focus on the positive aspects.
- And, if I am caught unawares in a stressful situation, I use my “respond don’t react” mode. I stop, take a deep breath, calm myself then respond to the situation. when you “react”, it is primal, “fight or flight”!! when you “respond”, you take a brief moment & THINK before you speak & you will find you have better outcomes!!
Your mindset can change everything & anything!! Mastering your mindset with the skills of mindfulness is the most powerful skill you can master.
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”….Henry Ford
If you look at everything from the negative side, it will take a huge toll on you & it will become the filter through which you see everything.
I know what you’re thinking….”It is easy to SAY think positive, but it is too hard to do”. It is all a matter of what you want.
Do you want the stress-filled life you currently are trapped in or do you want to enjoy your life more, be happier & feel better?
It takes effort at first to change how you look at things, but you can reframe any situation into a positive statement. Oh, I do NOT mean, “I am positive I will fail.” THAT is NOT looking at the situation positively. It would be more beneficial to say, “I will do my best, I may fail, but it will be a good learning experience.”
You can take change & reframe your thoughts into positive statements. No one is perfect all the time.
We ALL make mistakes, fail at something, etc. But we keep going & doing our best & the world is better for it.
I hope this info is helpful!! If you have any questions or concerns or suggestions, please comment below or send me an email!! I promise I will get back to you as quickly as I can!! I would LOVE to hear if this works for you, too!!
Oh, I am having issues with my business email, so please use the firstname.lastname@example.org email address!! THank you for being part of my world!!
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May Stardust & Moonbeams light your path….Hugzz ~ Jae
PS ~ Don’t forget to be mindful & take time to smell the roses (or lilacs)!!