Learn from the past, plan for the future, but enjoy the moment.
Mindful Living: Being in the present moment, observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Being awake to new possibilities, clues/signs of which direction to follow. Following your gut instincts. Mindfulness means looking at situations with kindness and compassion
Benefits of Mindful Living
1. We live in the now – the happiest people live in the moment. They learn from the past, plan for the future, but enjoy the moment.
2. We become aware of the mind-body connection which allows us to know how negative emotions affect us physically. This allows us to use the connection as a warning sign when something is wrong. “I have a lot of clients who feel their stress, anxiety, anger, etc. on their bodies before they connect to it emotionally,”
3. We slow down and enjoy life. Do one thing at a time. Multi-tasking isn’t always the best.
4. We become aware of all the beauty around us – we connect with nature. Nature instantly calms us.
5. We are aware that everything is love – we feel love, give love and receive love. Pay it forward!
6. We increase self-awareness which can help us become aware of our limiting beliefs and change negative thoughts.
7. We feel more relaxed, calm, peaceful and less stressed.
8. We realize everything is temporary so even when times are tough, we know that shall pass. It allows us to see that everything changes such as weather, seasons, thoughts, etc. We learn we can survive change and that change is also good! No need to fear change.
9. We become more focused on whatever it is we are doing.
How can we live mindfully? Here are 9 easy steps to start now:
1. Be an active listener which means you’re in the moment. When someone is talking to you stay present. Don’t think about anything else. Stay focus. Give direct eye contact. Ask questions. Summarize. Show you’re listening by your non verbal’s such as hands and face.
2. Do one thing at a time — we are a society of multi-tasking BUT to be mindful we really need to slow down and do one thing at a time. Really focus on the task, get totally absorbed on what you are doing. Get into “flow.”
3. Simplify your life — don’t fill your day just to be occupied. That is just being busy without purpose. Do the things you enjoy and love. Don’t waste time and energy on things that are just “fillers.”
4. Take time each day to do nothing — I mean nothing. This doesn’t mean thought time or nap time. It means just sitting and observing. Try to clear your mind completely and enjoy the silence. Try to be technology free for a day or at least during family time.
5. Enjoy nature — another way to be quite is by being surrounded by nature. You don’t have to do anything. You can just sit outside, talk a walk, go for a swim, lay in the sun, etc.
6. There is no wrong or right, no judgment. That takes away from the experience. Don’t look at mindfulness as a chore. It’s just a state of being. It’s enjoying every moment. It’s being alive in every moment. It’s being fully involved in every activity and conversation.
7. Mindfulness is awareness – Be aware that every moment of your life is important no matter how big or small.
8. Truly accept your life — accept where you are at this moment. Be aware of your emotions. Don’t push them down or avoid them. They will eventually rear there ugly head. Accept them, feel them and then you can move forward. Don’t intellectualize or repress your feelings. If you feel what is happening the negative feelings will pass quicker. Use your negative emotions as a teachable moment.
9. Mindfulness means self-compassion – having a higher talk with yourself. Watching the recorder playing in your head. Changing your self-talk. Use positive affirmations.
About Diane Lang
Diane Lang is a therapist, educator and author with expertise in multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. Her passion for helping women find their place in motherhood and the workplace is reflected in her counseling, radio appearances, books (“Babysteps: The Path from Motherhood to Career,” and “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness”), and in her “Super Mom Series” speaking engagements.
Diane has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and holds multiple counseling positions.