A to Z Challenge Life lessons

M is for Mindful living #atozchallenge

Mindfulness is something I came across through my work. In the last decade or so, mindfulness has become a big part of psychology. The new wave of psychological therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy have incorporated the Buddhist principles of mindfulness.

mindfulness

Mindfulness basically refers to paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgementally (Jon Kabat-Zinn). Most of us lead busy lives. We go from one thing to the next filling our lives with moments of busyness. Work, keeping house, looking after kids, socialising, reading, watching TV, going online — you know, keeping our minds occupied. Sometimes we do two or more things at once. {I know I always have the TV on while I’m blogging!} But rarely do we just sit and notice things around us. Or just notice the thoughts running through our minds. Or just intentionally pay attention to our breathing.

I try and get my clients to practise mindfulness and while teaching them in session, I practise it with them. And you know what? It’s not easy. It’s not easy to just focus on my breath. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about mindfulness so far it’s that each of us might find something different where we can be completely and wholly present.

For me usually, that is when I’m exercising or at the beach or hiking. When I’m weight training, I focus all my energy on my muscles, my sweat, the weights I’m lifting, the way it feels in my hands — I am very rarely caught up in my mind thinking of everything else I need to be doing for the day. Maybe that’s why exercise is such a stress-buster for me. I have tried being mindful about my breath at home. But I have struggled big time with it. More often that not, I fall asleep. Which is not the point of mindfulness!

I realise I need something more concrete to be mindful about.

Whether it is my body while exercising or certain sounds, smells or sights to focus on, it becomes easier. But I guess as Russ Harris says in his mindfulness CD — no one ever gets perfect at mindfulness. You are always working on becoming better at the skill. Knowing that you can never be perfect at it helps you to not set unrealistic standards for yourself. It allows you to be ok with your mind wandering when it is trying to be mindful. But in the end, you bring it back to the present.

If anything, trying to be mindful helps me to be more present.

It helps to appreciate the little moments in life. To not dwell on the past or the dream about the future or the could-haves.

It helps to live.

Do you try to have mindful moments in your day?

Do share!!

***This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You can read my previous posts here***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

 

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  • Rajlakshmi
    April 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I need to practice mindfulness… I am always doing 2-3 things at the same time… And it adds to all my stress. Brilliant post there. And you are one heck of a busy girl 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Momentum of a momentMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    April 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I need to practice mindfulness… I am always doing 2-3 things at the same time… And it adds to all my stress. Brilliant post there. And you are one heck of a busy girl 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Momentum of a momentMy Profile

  • Ananya Kiran
    April 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Yes its true we need to live at present, Lovely post 🙂
    Because of my writing for AtoZ challenge where i am writing abt my life s past incidents , I end up dwelling on it and I am a dreamer keep dreaming abt future.
    Ananya Kiran recently posted…MacarismMy Profile

  • Ananya Kiran
    April 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Yes its true we need to live at present, Lovely post 🙂
    Because of my writing for AtoZ challenge where i am writing abt my life s past incidents , I end up dwelling on it and I am a dreamer keep dreaming abt future.
    Ananya Kiran recently posted…MacarismMy Profile

  • J.Gi Federizo
    April 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Sometimes i am mindful, sometimes not. I really ought to do that more often!
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…“CANCER MYTHS AND REALITY CHECKS”My Profile

  • J.Gi Federizo
    April 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Sometimes i am mindful, sometimes not. I really ought to do that more often!
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…“CANCER MYTHS AND REALITY CHECKS”My Profile

  • Jayanta Tewari
    April 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Looks interesting…Yes, it is difficult to focus on one single thing… “in the present moment non-judgmentally” – they say being present to the present is difficult. Thanks for sharing…
    Jayanta Tewari recently posted…M for MindMy Profile

  • Jayanta Tewari
    April 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Looks interesting…Yes, it is difficult to focus on one single thing… “in the present moment non-judgmentally” – they say being present to the present is difficult. Thanks for sharing…
    Jayanta Tewari recently posted…M for MindMy Profile

  • nabanita
    April 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    True…the past keeps playing in my mind so often..I miss those days…It’s hard no to be in the present?
    nabanita recently posted…M is for MotherlyMy Profile

  • nabanita
    April 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    True…the past keeps playing in my mind so often..I miss those days…It’s hard no to be in the present?
    nabanita recently posted…M is for MotherlyMy Profile

  • Prasanna Rao
    April 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    We used to practice this as part of our Yoga breathing sessions but I found it very difficult to be mindful of my thinking, to control my thoughts and still be able to go with the flow 🙂

  • simple girl
    April 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    In my mind its the future that is playing havoc.. also restrictions in present add to the fuel.. don’t know whether it will work for me or not..
    simple girl recently posted…AtoZchallenge – M for ..MangoMy Profile

  • Soumya
    April 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Oh this was an amazing learning experience for me. Thanks for that! 🙂
    Soumya recently posted…L – LoveMy Profile

  • Kathy
    April 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I generally don’t worry about tomorrow. After much discipline, I don’t worry about the past. I don’t worry about today. I just let life happen…living each moment as it comes. ♥
    Kathy recently posted…M is for MemoriesMy Profile

  • S(t)ri
    April 16, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Mindfulness – I really need to learn a lot on this aspect. I loved reading this PB!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!
    S(t)ri recently posted…Mad As Cut Snake – AToZ Challenge 2014 – Day13My Profile

  • Laurel Regan
    April 16, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I find it very difficult to be mindful, as my brain always seems to be going off in several different directions at once! It’s definitely something I need to practice.
    Laurel Regan recently posted…Blogging from A to Z Challenge – M is for…My Profile

  • Shailaja V
    April 17, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Mindfulness as you have explained it, is so lovely. How beautiful to sit still and let the wonder wash over us.

    Excellent post, PB <3
    Shailaja V recently posted…Nestling in NatureMy Profile

  • Suzy
    April 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Or in the words of Ram Dass – be here now. Not an easy thing to do all the time.
    Suzy recently posted…Life’s Jigsaw – ObsessionsMy Profile

  • Zita
    April 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I’ve certainly been trying this lately as well…but my mind wanders so much I find it really difficult. Have downloaded the Smiling Mind app to try and help me!
    Zita recently posted…for PMy Profile

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