As humans, we are blessed with a lot of extraordinary mental abilities. Unfortunately, we often take these things for granted, and our abilities often get lost because of it. For example, we are imaginative and brilliant as a species, but how often do we forget to use these qualities to better our lives? Do we even realize what it would be like not to have these abilities? Not only are we filled with excellent skills, but there is also a part of our mind that we may be unaware of, and that’s the incredible power of mindfulness.
What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of self-awareness. It’s something that allows you to be present at the moment and accept things for what they are without any judgment.
This actual concept originally came from the teachings of Buddhist beliefs. It has now been adapted for treating depression and helping with regulating moods and seems to have various other health benefits.
When people are mindful, they are aware of what’s going on in the current moment. As a result, they become very aware of themselves and what’s going on around them. However, even though they may be highly aware of their surroundings, they learn to observe the things around them. So one learns to become aware of their thoughts and feelings, but they don’t react to these things that put them on a type of auto-pilot.
Turning off autopilot
Usually, we generally run on auto-pilot during our lives. As a result, we tend to have minds that sometimes seem to have the will of their own. As a result, our thoughts often come and go as they please, and sometimes they make us feel as if we have no control over them.
When people can stand back and observe what’s going on in their mind, they soon learn how easy it seems that their thoughts skip from one idea to the next and often interrupting each idea and even overlapping all of the thoughts with constant streams of ideas, memories, desires, and pictures.
Mindfulness is a process that helps a person learn to truly take a step away from all of this and calmly observe all of this activity and feelings that are going through their mind. It helps a person to learn to separate themselves from the influence from it all.
The pure essence of mindfulness
When a person becomes mindful, they will become a relaxed and calm witness when it comes to their inner life. They will be freed from always being affected by all the mental activity that goes on. It also helps them rid themselves of all the judgments they might have about their surroundings.
The key here is observation. Mindfulness helps people observe their thoughts and feelings instead of letting themselves get caught up in it all and swim around in all the chaos that all of this activity can cause. Once someone becomes aware and conscious on this level and lives in and for the moment, they can turn off their auto-pilot.
Mindfulness can free one from judgments that can be harmful.
When people become mindful, they are in a state of attentiveness to the present. Instead of judging the things around them as either something wrong or good, they accept these things for what they are. They learn not to label or judge the different events or circumstances in their lives, and it frees them from the usual way one often reacts to these events or circumstances.
Judgments can be pretty fruitless and do no one any good. Here’s a simple example:
You are driving down the road, and another car cuts you off without warning. Unfortunately, your mind will most often judge the person right away and think of their action as harmful or even disrespectful, which causes instant anger.
Sure, we all have a right to feel however we want. We might perceive the driver as rude, but the anger one might allow rise is a choice.
Unfortunately, this is a choice that auto-pilot has automatically made. Now, when you are on auto-pilot, the feelings and thoughts will lead to reactions that might not be good. However, when you are more alert and more mindful of the present moment you are in, you will react and respond to the world around you with far more openness and more acceptance instead of harsh judgment and automatic reactions.
There’s a choice when you’re mindful.
Again, judgment can be fruitless but, it’s also harmful to a person. If a person reacts with anger to that driver who cut them off and then eventually realizes that there’s nothing to change what just happened once this has come and gone, it often makes the person even angrier. Then blame is often put on the other driver for making them feel so mad in the first place.
But, when a person is mindful, they can choose to be angry or decide to let it go.
When a person is more mindful, they learn to be a lot more aware of all that is going on around them at that very moment, and they aren’t bogged down with all the mental activity that’s going on in their minds.
So there is a space that mindfulness can open up, and it gives a person the chance to calmly observe all that’s happening with a new view and accept all of it for what it is and leave it there.
Suppose a person doesn’t have a mindful approach. In that case, they react emotionally, mentally and even physically to their lives. And often, the consequences for these reactions and can be pretty damaging.
Mindfulness can help to heal emotional disturbances.
The process of mindfulness can help a person with their inner awareness. But, in addition, it can help a person with their negative thoughts or emotions that might be troubling and interfere with their innermost harmony.
Mindfulness not only helps one to observe what’s going on around them in their world, but it can also help a person to step back and observe their thoughts and their feelings without judging themselves. It allows a person to feel these things still and helps them be more aware that they are not who a person is and they’re just temporary and will pass.
Life is going to throw hard times at people; there’s no avoiding that. People are going to feel sadness, anger, grief all through life. No one is going to be happy always. However, with mindfulness, a person can learn how to observe these feelings and not label them bad or good. Instead, mindfulness teaches a person to learn to choose to accept these feelings as what they are, just feelings.
Mindfulness teaches people to let their emotions be, give them the chance to pass by. All of us have feelings, and they come and go; they rise and fall. However, through the act of being mindful, one is taught not to label them and don’t resist them.
By practising mindfulness, one is taught to allow the emotions to come and go and help defuse one’s negative, disturbing emotions and aggressive feelings instead of just suppressing them. It also enables you to avoid indulging in these emotions and feelings.
Meditation & mindfulness go hand in hand.
When it comes to mindfulness and meditation, these two things go well together and quite naturally. When they are practised together, they tend to strengthen one another.
Unlike a variety of relaxation techniques out there, mindfulness is something that, if learned well, can be used during any stressful situation. When a person is mindful, they stay alerted and respond appropriately to whatever the problem is. What they don’t do is allow themselves to go on auto-pilot and react.
When a person practices mindfulness, they eventually discover that they start to gather a lot less mental noise during their day. As a result, they begin to feel calmer and more apparent as they go through their daily activities.
They also discover how much easier it is to practice daily meditation when combined with mindfulness.
Once a person learns to practice being mindful, it will enhance their ability to meditate far better. When a person can practice a more profound meditation, then, in turn, their ability to be aware will become a lot easier.
Special gift from mindfulness
One of the best benefits one will receive from mindfulness tends to be the increased appreciation they will have about life in general. Someone who becomes very highly attentive and mindful will often find that everything in life becomes a lot more rewarding and fulfilling.