5 Mindfulness Practices for a Happier Life.
Mindfulness, put simply, is nothing more than present moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
The key to mindfulness is in it’s acceptance of what is happening in the immediate now without any judgement.
When we practice mindfulness our awareness tunes into the present moment, rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
The cultivation of mindfulness allows you to be in a state of here and now, and that is where your power lies.
Because it is only in the now that we truly realize our potential to shape our lives.
With Greater awareness, we make better choices, build stronger relationships, and re-focus our attention on what we can affect, and what we can let go of.
Cultivate the witness.
This is perhaps the most powerful and most transformative aspect of mindfulness. If done correctly it is essentially the only mindfulness technique you will ever need.
Recognizing the habitual thought patterns that keep you from experiencing the present moment is at it’s core what mindfulness is all about.
Trying to stop thoughts and clearing the mind is futile. Rather the key is to separate yourself from your thoughts. Not allowing yourself to be carried off by them.
See them for what they are, clouds passing by the sky. Learn to observe your thoughts without judging them.
The goal is not to change or manipulate the situation. It is open acceptance for whatever is happening in the immediate now. The feelings of the body, your emotions, your thoughts, learn to observe them as if there were another person observing them from a far.
Mastery of this will leave your life transformed. But don’t be fooled. It is simple, but far from easy.
An Attitude of Gratitude.
It is impossible to be both in a state of gratitude and fear at the same time.
When we are grateful for something we begin to make space for happiness and joy. Those who are happiest in this world are the most grateful for their lot in life.
Cultivate a state of gratitude for absolutely everything going on in your life. Say thank you when you have a warm shower in the morning. Thank you that you didn't have to go without food today. Thank you for the jerk-off of a boss you have, you are learning to handle difficult people.
There is always something to be grateful for, you just need to look.
Gratitude and happiness are qualities that must be cultivated from within. Spend enough time practicing this habit and it will eventually become your default setting.
The happiness advantage.
If you can’t make yourself happy, try making someone else happy.
If you are to shy or self conscious, start by just wishing the people you interact with throughout the day to be happy.
Choose one person and imagine them to be in a state of bliss. Declare their happiness as the most important thing in the world.
See them realizing all that they have in this world to be happy for.
You won’t believe the impact an exercise like this will have on your own happiness.
Eating is a sacred act.
For seven consecutive days eat at least one meal per day in complete silence.
Not being distracted by phones, not eating while rushing towards a meeting.
Sit, stop and chew mindfully. Focus on each and every bite.
For most this will be highly uncomfortable. We are so conditioned to consume food as quickly as possible.
But this exercise is crucial to reconnecting with a part of our being we have lost touch with.
Let your breath become your anchor to the present. Whenever difficulties arrive sit with the breath.
Don’t try and deny how you are feeling.
Learn to breath slowly and deliberately, flooding your body with much needed oxygen.
If you can take a breath, you have something to be grateful for. You are still alive. You can now go and deal with whatever needs to be done.
If the circumstance is out of your control, accept this and move on.
Don’t allow worry and guilt to become a part of you if you can’t take action to change a situation.
Your breath is the key to a more mindful life. Learn to breath properly.
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