Mindfulness II

8 Top Tips for Mindful Living 
Valerie Delffori

mindfulness - 3….

Valerie Delffori

Mindfulness has become a modern buzzword for those amongst us who are seeking inner peace.  With large corporations such as Apple, Google and Unilever employing Mindfulness training for their workforce, it is a well researched and proven fact that the benefits of this new discipline are immeasurable.

More and more people are reading about Mindfulness, taking courses and learning to meditate in the pursuit of spiritual Zen. Through the guidelines that the practice of Mindfulness is giving us, there’s a new understanding emerging that without  inner contentment, the outside world will never look right to us and that our thoughts and minds can generate stress from within.

Meditation is a cornerstone of Mindfulness; without this peaceful practice it would be much more difficult to stay focused on our Mindfulness discipline.  But there are so many other opportunities within every day of our normal lives to practice Mindfulness.  In fact, it is the daily application of a Mindful attitude that builds new behaviors and reactions within us.  Just reading and learning about the theories will only go so far – it’s the practical application of the theories that can really create a permanent and meaningful shift from within.

With this in mind, I have compiled a few points and guidelines to help you to begin bringing Mindfulness in to your daily life.  These may seem like very simple things to do, but when practiced along side regular meditation, these little “Mindful moments” will bring huge benefits to those who have the presence of mind to observe their own thoughts and think Mindfully every day.

Try starting with just a few of the points below.  Choose a day where you know you are not manically busy and try keeping your “observing mind” at the forefront while using the following guidelines:

  1. Go with the flow: Pay attention to your reactions and remain “non- judgmental in any given moment and situation.”

When you start to do this, will begin to realize how often the mind’s
reaction is one of judgment.  The more you do the opposite and just
accept anything that you can just as it is, the more you will be breaking
the lifelong habit of having an opinion on many things and you will
begin to “go with the flow.”

2. Stay in the momentLiving in the present moment is another main precept of Mindfulness.  

Our minds tend to want to either reflect on a past that we are power-
less to change, or project in to a possible future, often with a negative
bias, where our mind takes us to the worst possible outcome (worry).
The habit of past and future projection is one of the biggest stress
generating factors in life.  The easiest way to stop this is to notice when
it’s happening and immediately bring yourself back to whatever you
are doing in this moment and stay there as long as possible.

3. Observe your reactionsOur behaviours and reactions have been embedded in to our psyches over a lifetime; observe and adjust your reactions by checking whether they are coming from an ego point of view.

This means that just like any other habits, our reflex reactions are hard
to break.  The best way to do this is to be your own observer and to
develop the ability to take a step back in any situation where you first
notice a reaction based in ego.  A reaction that comes from a mind or ego
place 
can be wanting to be best, to win, to compete, to control or create
drama.  
The moment you notice any of these elements in your own
behavior,
observe, step back, and come back to the present while adopting
a non-
judgmental mind set.

4. Be kind to others: Always hold within yourself the intention to come from a kind and compassionate viewpoint.

In this modern world, full of material values where people compete
against each other, we can become disconnected from our kind, com-
passionate and true nature.  It’s easier to do everything from the logical,
practical point of view and overlook the emotional side of life.  So as you
go about your daily life try to bring compassion and kindness in to the
way you interact with others.  After all, we are all human and inter-
connected on the deepest of levels, so even if we don’t understand some-
one’s behavior, we can still show compassion and kindness to them.

5. Be kind to yourselfAdopt a kind and compassionate nature towards yourself.

Another stress generator is the negative mind chatter we can have about
ourselves.  Again, because these reactions and behaviors have been
embedded over many years, we may not notice how many times we think
things like “I’m stupid,” or “I’m so unlucky” without even realizing that
our inner voice is a critical one.  If we observe our own thoughts in any
given moment, we can quieten that critical inner voice until the habit of
thinking negatively about our self is permanently broken.

6. Pace yourselfSimplify your life and slow down.

It’s easy to overstretch ourselves and make our lives busier than they need
to be; modern materialistic concepts can sometimes judge a person who
leads a quiet, humble, and simple life as someone who isn’t “achieving” or
“popular.”  So we can sometimes fill our lives with needless activities and
pressures that add to our stress and anxieties.  As Mindfulness brings a
new, slower lifestyle, which generates inner contentment, we will find it
easy to let go of people, places and situations that are either unnecessary
or toxic in our lives.  Many people are downsizing and de-cluttering their
lives as they adopt a new Mindful mindset.

7. Don’t do dramaIf we find ourselves being sucked into unnecessary dramas, especially when we start to let our mind overthink a situation or we let our ego take over, notice and let go of the need to add more drama to the situation.

When we start to feel emotional about someone or something that’s
happening to us, it’s a good idea to observe our own reaction and again
step back.  If we notice that we are needing to be right, win, control or
any other kind of mind based reaction, take a deep breath and bring the
thoughts back to the present, allowing the emotion that’s feeding the ego
to release quietly on it’s own.  Then, come back to the person or situation
with a quiet, rational and non-judgmental state of mind. The mind will
always attach to a negative emotion and amplify it if you let it.  If you notice
this happening, step back and let go.  The same applies to noticing when
you’re being sucked in to other people’s dramas too!

8. Meditate as often as possibleLastly, and most important of all, is the practice of meditating regularly.

Investing time and energy in yourself and keeping a discipline that refines
and tunes the mind has endless benefits.  Again, the benefits of regular
meditation such as TM, Concentration or Mindfulness have been
researched over many years.  The results categorically prove that
meditation is hugely centering and balancing to our mind, body and
emotions.  So meditating regularly provides the bedrock of any
Mindfulness practice and even if you can only sit for 15 minutes a week,
you will still see good results over time.

Mindfulness is not just a theory or concept – it’s a way of life; so to be truly “mindful,” we need to keep turning the theories into practice at every opportunity, every day.  Once we start to think Mindfully, it becomes apparent how many moments in a day we can choose to act differently, kindly and Mindfully.  Why not try starting a day with a morning meditation and then throughout that day, stay Mindful.  See how people react to you when you’re being Mindful and observe how you feel by the end of the day.  After all – you’ve got nothing to lose!