We have all been drawn to those articles that list what successful people do in the morning in order to see what techniques we can adopt to mirror their success. After reading about a lot of different techniques, I found that mindfulness was a common theme regardless of the author. So I decided to look into what this actually meant. The Oxford dictionary defines mindfulness “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
I’m a fidgety person by nature and I have tried to ‘meditate’ many times, but my mind just runs all over the place! It’s almost as though I get the opposite effect by virtue of telling myself and others that ‘I am going to meditate.’ So when I heard of mindfulness I was like oh come on, how can I channel what all the successful people do if I can’t slow my mind down long enough to focus? So I began very skeptically looking into this idea of mindfulness. For me, this was the first time that I have ever put in this much time and effort to finding out how to get focused and set the tone for me to ‘win’ during the day.
The techie in me always defaults to the app world to see how people have packaged this idea of mindfulness. My first win came when I used the guided mindfulness apps. These apps have definitely helped break down this daunting concept of mindfulness for me. Apps like Simple Habit, Meditation Studio, Calm, Headspace and Mindfulness. The step by step approach that guided mindfulness takes allows my mind to roam for a while then get pulled in by the sounds played and the pauses observed during the sessions. Being able to focus my awareness on how I’m breathing - fast or slow - and why I’m breathing this way has allowed me to slow down. I feel my body actually slow down, which helps when I start feeling fidgety again.
Mindfulness encourages you to acknowledge and accept how your are feeling and what you are thinking. This is such a plus for me because, when I tried meditating I always felt unsuccessful as my mind would wander and I would feel like I was not getting the most out of the experience. However, through guided mindfulness, I do recognize that my thoughts are wandering but once again, because this isn’t seen as ‘unsuccessful’ mindfulness, I definitely feel as though I get more out of being mindful.
Three women going through life.