Getting a grasp on mindfulness
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
How did 30 min of daily mindfulness change my life?
Hey guys, I am really excited to share that for the first time in my life I felt total compassion for a person who was truly mean to me. I didn't believe this was possible until last week. What was the reason for that? - 2 weeks of daily 30 min of mindfulness. I have been meditating for the last several years, but just the last 2 weeks I became fully committed to the practice which helped me grasp the concept of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is one of the trendiest things nowadays when it comes to mental health and personal growth. My intuition is though that people can't grasp the impact of it.
What is mindfulness?
According to the founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe mindfulness is “the ability to be fully present in the moment”
The first time I heard of mindfulness, I didn't understand the use of it. It sounded easy and useless.
My first judgment was "But I am in the moment all the time, why do I need to lose one hour or even 10 minutes a day to validate that?" It turned out that I am so far away from the truth.
What does it mean to be truly present in the moment?
I understood how hard it is to be fully in the moment when I missed 20 min of a movie I was watching, duo to analyzing the fact that a girl didn't want to go out with me. Than clicked, AHA I am present with what I feel, think and experience but I am not taken away by them.
My definition of mindfulness
“The ability to observe everything which is happening at the moment without reacting to it, trying to change it or being taken away by it”
What do I mean? Imagine an ocean which is filled with fish. You are the ocean and your thoughts, emotions, five sensory experiences are the fish. They are part of you but you are not them. You are the essence and they are the content. You can observe them but not being defined by them.
Why is mindfulness so impactful?
Mindfulness is giving us not only the chance to see the contents of our mind objectively but also the space to decide how we are gonna respond to them(if a response is needed). Mindfulness can't be grasped by words fully, the only way to understanding it is by practicing it daily. Why is that? Because the practice itself changes the quality of the mind. It teaches the mind how to relate to all the outside and inside inputs. It is like if we want to have strong muscles we need to practice by working out every day and the more we practice the stronger our muscles will be. I see mindfulness as a workout for the mind, the more we practice it the stronger the mind is. Where do you start?
There are many types of mindfulness practices you can do.
- You can start by sitting still and following your breath for 5 minutes. - You can use mindfulness apps like Headspace or Calm. The reality is that you don't even need to sit down to practice mindfulness. You can also lie down, walk or standstill. More about these methods you can find in this amazing book written by the founder of MBSR(mindfulness-based stress reduction program) John Kabat-Zinn. - According to Zenn, it doesn't matter how long we do the meditation but how consistent and devoted we are to the daily practice of it. He says that even 1 min per day will do. - Another tip from him is that the only way to master mindfulness is to not try to master it. Final thoughts Mindfulness is a practice that can truly change how we experience life. The only thing we need to do is consistently practice it without expectation of quick results.