While the concept of mindfulness may seem modern and very new age, the truth is that it is a very old concept. It has its origins within Buddhism, but as can be seen from the amount of emphasis placed on it in the modern age, has many applications in modern society, even for those who do not follow the specific religious ideology. Mindfulness in its simplest form is about grounding yourself in the present moment in order to relax and de-stress. This is incredibly important when you are constantly plugged in to the system and being bombarded with information all of the time, as many of us are due to our smart phones. We are getting work messages, social media notifications, calls and messages from family all the time, leading to multiple emotions and sometimes it can all get a bit much. This is where mindfulness can help.
How can you be mindful?
When people think about mindfulness, they usually associate it with meditation. They think about needing to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. For those who are not familiar with the concept of meditation, I am sure you will recognise it in the saying, take a deep breath and count to 10. But the truth is you can become mindful without ever actually meditating. Mindfulness is more than just a specific act. At is core, it is more about adopting a mindset and attitude to help you navigate difficult times. If you can work to develop an attitude of openness and acceptance, you are on your way to being mindful. For me, the easiest way to articulate this is to use the French phrase “c’est la vie”. This translates in to “That’s life”.
This too shall pass
As we go through life various things are going to happen. We are going to fall in love, we are going to experience awful heartbreak, loved ones are going to be born, loved ones are going to die, we are going to get awesome promotions and we are going to be made redundant or get fired. We are going to be happy and we are going to be sad, healthy, and sick and so on and so forth. By taking a mindset that although some of these things are amazing and some of them are awful, its all part of this crazy journey we call life. By taking a few moments and reframing your focus and accepting that at times things are going to get hectic you can achieve mindfulness. You may be going through an awful time, but it will pass. Just as the good times will also not last. By being able to take a breath and accept the situation is what it is, you are then able to begin to move out of it. If we allow the situation to overwhelm us, we often allow the situation to get worse as our emotions cause us to fail to act quickly and therefore drag it out as we get caught up in focusing on every possible scenario. So, when it all gets a bit too much, accept the situation is what it is, take a deep breath and just focus on what you need to do right now.