Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment and being aware of what is going on both within you and around you. This can be a difficult and daunting practice to cultivate, as being mindful asks you to slow down and learn to accept rather than resist your present experience. Below are three simple ways you can start incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life.
#1. Notice What Is Happening
One way to begin practicing mindfulness is to begin stating out loud, reflecting on, or writing in a journal a list of things you notice. It is human nature to make judgments on what you are experiencing and feeling, which can spiral into anxiety and depression.
What if instead of judging yourself about what is happening within you and around you, you began simply noticing these same things with neutrality and non-judgment? What if what you are experiencing does not have to mean something, and is rather just allowed to be?
#2. Anchoring Into Acceptance
There are many myths wrapped in the practice of acceptance. For instance, it is a common belief that accepting yourself, your life, and others as they are means you are giving up, that nothing will ever change, or that you have stopped trying to better these things. However, the very opposite is true.
Acceptance is a mindset shift that can serve as the catalyst for growth. It is not until you stop resisting what is that it stops persisting. This gives you the space to create and experience change from a space of compassion rather than punishment. There is not necessarily anything you need to do to accept, other than making the conscious choice to live in acceptance, even when it is uncomfortable.
#3. Meditating as a Way of Mindfulness
Beginning a meditation practice is another great way to incorporate mindfulness into your day. Meditation allows you to create time and space to slow down enough to become aware of racing thoughts or difficult emotions without needing to change them.
The goal of meditation is not to feel better, but to instead learn to respond to the thoughts and emotions present instead of reacting to them. Over time, this can lead to ease, although this practice may not feel easy at first.
Mindfulness is a process and a practice, one that does not require perfection. Trying to achieve perfect mindfulness is not the goal. The goal of being mindful is to cultivate awareness, acceptance, and compassion for what you are experiencing without trying to change it. Over time, this can lead to decreasing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. When you consistently practice acceptance and view thoughts and feelings as neutral, you can slow down your mind and find comfort and healing within yourself.
Mindfulness can be challenging in the beginning, but over time can become second nature. Oftentimes, we must slow down and allow things to be without attaching meaning to them to experience true and lasting healing. At Avalon Malibu, we use mindfulness-based therapies to help you find peace of mind and balance in your mind, body, and spirit to heal from mental illness and addiction. If you or someone you love could benefit from beginning treatment, call us today at (844) 857-5992.