Being mindful is not as hard as it seems. In fact, you've probably already done it. But, here is an easy technique to help you fully relax and let your thoughts flow.
Do you struggle being mindful, or perhaps not even know what it is, as thoughts run rampant within your mind? We’re going to discuss some tips to easily master mindfulness, and you’ll realize it’s not as hard as you think. Mindfulness can be extremely useful for battling anxiety as well, which was discussed in a prior video, so be sure to check that out!
Mindfulness is the state of being in the present moment. Your focus is on what is happening right here and now instead of things that happened in the past, or what may happen in the future. Mindfulness helps clear the clutter from your mind and let go of obsessive thoughts that have been causing you depression and anxiety. The one problem is, many people struggle being mindful since they have been conditioned to be distracted with computers, phones, social media, and constant notifications. This greatly lowers one’s ability to focus and concentrate, lowering their attention span, and thus leads to the inability to focus on the present moment.
I want you to think of all the distractions you have in your life, usually almost always stemming from technology. What are these, and pay attention to how much time it’s taking from you. Now, think of a time when you felt focused and relaxed. Perhaps you remember a time when you were reading a book, listening to your favorite song, even playing a video game, or working on something you’re very passionate about. Whatever it is, the feeling you’re looking for is when you felt like you were in the present moment, not thinking about the past, not anticipating the future. You were right in the moment of whatever you were doing, and it felt great as you were so productive and time flew by. Similarly, think of a time you were distracted and kept having distracting thoughts. Time goes by and yet you haven’t accomplished a thing.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a meditation. Rather, it can be anything that brings you into the present moment. It’s almost always things you’re passionate about and love. Playing a video game lets you remove all distractions and get into the present moment. The problem is that micro-distractions, such as a notification you get on your phone or computer that takes your attention away, even for a few seconds, will completely ruin your train of thought and the mindful state you are in. If you were writing a paper for school, initially you’ll be distracted and all over the place, but the moment you get into the zone, there is no stopping you. But, you have to allow yourself to enter that zone by removing the distractions during the time you’ll be doing a task.
Mindfulness is a state of allowing, and when you’re distracted, you’re resisting the natural state of the mind, which is pure relaxation. So, turn off all notifications and things that could distract you. Put your phone into do not disturb mode, and just give yourself some time to yourself, focusing on whatever it is you’re passionate about. If you’re practicing meditation, then when you’ve cut out all distractions and are alone with your thoughts, you’ll find that your thoughts begin racing around like crazy, and you’re unable to stop them. You try and try, but only make it worse. This is when people give up being mindful during a meditative state, since it doesn’t seem to work for them.
Imagine your thoughts like a train going by. Alongside the tracks, watching the train, and each train car that goes by is a random thought that comes into your mind. Maybe it’s what someone said to you, or problems at home, or school, or work, etc. A visual representation of how we often are is that we chase down the train cars, trying to focus and hold onto them. You cannot hold onto a train car, or else you’ll get mangled, which is exactly what happens to our minds and bodies if we continue having random, destructive thoughts. Rather, pay attention to each train car that goes by, realizing that you cannot stop it, nor should you run after it. Even imagine your feet being in cement if you keep moving and just stop and watch the cars go by, right in front of you. Don’k focus too much on one, but just let them do their thing, and after some time you’ll find that your thoughts are flowing smoother and you are in a state of mindfulness. Alternatively, you can even imagine a stream of water with leaves flowing down. But again, do not chase after them. Rather, just allow them to be.
Finding this article helpful?
Mindfulness is about observing your thoughts without judgment, not battling them. You let them flow and be in the present moment. Whether you are in a state of mindfulness from listening to music, playing a game, working, or meditating, the theme is all the same, let your mind unwind and thoughts flow without holding onto them. Lots of things will come up, even some negative thoughts, but just let them go for maximum mental and physical health.
Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!
Early on when I was meditating, it was so difficult for me since I kept trying to force something to happen instead of going with the flow. I’ve realized since then that in order for any progress to be made, you have to let go and let it flow. We stress ourselves out so much by focusing on the past or future, but we only live in the here and now. This is when I realized that I cannot change what happens in the past, and I cannot stress myself out over what may or may not happen in the future. Rather, I have to just go with the flow and do what makes me happy.