The lazy way to mindfulness for busy people
There is really nothing new about Mindfulness. It has been around for thousands of years, practiced and passed down through the generations by Buddhist monks and it works by keeping people in the NOW – focussing on things at this precise moment.
The practice has been clinically proven to fight depression and anxiety – according to some medical reports up to 20% of individuals taking part in trials have benefitted - and there are a growing number of organisations willing to offer courses and advice.
Does it work – yes? Is it good for your mind and body – without doubt? So what’s the downside of Mindfulness? The short answer is time. If you are willing to invest part of your day – you will need, according to the experts, at least 15 minutes to meditate, some say up to one hour, allowing your thoughts to be put into perspective in a non-judgemental way - and in a modern fast moving world, most of us are sadly unwilling to make that investment.
It’s the very same reason why most people fail to get the results they need from self-help books, particularly those that involve daily exercises and affirmations and why most New Year resolutions fail by mid-January.
That doesn’t mean to say that you cannot introduce Mindfulness into your life and daily routine and you can do it on the go, as you travel to work, during you lunch hour, as you tidy up the house, clean the car or whatever it is you are doing at that particular moment.
The secret is learning to control your thoughts and living in the now, enjoying this precise moment accepting that everything is how it should be. Let the dozens of thoughts coming into your head pass into the ether without comment or analysis – they are random and however pressing they may seem you can choose to return to them when you are ready ensuring that you dominate the agenda.
A good start is to forget about the past mistakes – there is nothing you can change as much as you might want to beat yourself up over it. Simply vow to learn from the experience however painful it was because it is now in your past and only causes you distress when you relive it. That simple process of acceptance alone will take you forward into the process of mindfulness.
As for the future – if you are practicing Powerful Positive Thinking then you will already have a strategy to take care of what comes next – so all you have to do is concentrate on what’s happening now.
Enjoy the moment and if you are sitting on a train or a passenger on a bus or simply lounging in a café, take the opportunity to look around, smell the coffee if you like, metaphorically and literally, look at the surroundings, take notice of colours and textures and as you do, thoughts will stream into your head and you will have an opinion about what your senses are telling you.
To achieve mindfulness you must control these opinions. It doesn’t matter whether you hate the colour of someone’s curtains or whatever else you are looking at. It doesn’t matter what you think about anything really at that particular moment – stop being judgemental, acknowledge the thoughts without any additional mental comment and let them drift away.
This is the lazy way to mindfulness because without realising it you will be in a mild state of mediation, ikt’s doing you good and you can do it any time it takes your fancy. Analyse it a bit further and you have probably allowed yourself unwittingly to relax in the same way on numerous occasions. It is just common sense – another key part of powerful positive thinking.
You can do this during even the busiest of days and here comes the good bit. Because you have not locked yourself into a rigid programme of meditating at a certain time then mindfulness becomes a pleasure when you are ready to switch off and not another chore or duty you have to include as part of your 24 schedule.
This way you will slowly learn how to control your thoughts, you will become less judgemental, gradually you will learn to let go of the past and slowly – step by step – you will be living in the NOW – and that’s exactly where we all should be.