We all face difficulties and challenges at some point in our lives. The most important thing is not the challenge itself, but how we cope and deal with it. By incorporating the following mindfulness techniques, we can successfully face whatever life throws at us in an effective and meaningful way.
Mindfulness is increasingly being recognised as an effective way to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, enhance emotional intelligence and efficiently handle painful thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness involves consciously bringing awareness to your here and now experience. Jon Kabat-Zinn, an authority in Mindfulness, has described it as “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Being mindful helps you to be more in control of your life. When we are in control of lives, we are in control of our thoughts and feelings. When we are in control of our thoughts and feelings then we are in control of our lives.
We have the power to take control of our actions as we have the power to choose our thoughts. Make it a habit to consciously choose your behaviour from moment to moment. Will you be angry or will you stay calm and relaxed? Will you shout or will you say it gently? Before you take action, stop and think about how you want to behave and tell yourself, “At this very moment, I am choosing to…”
How we speak - the tone, volume, pitch and speed – as well as the words that we choose to say, has a significant impact on ourselves and on others around us. It is important to choose language that is positive and constructive. You can be more in control of your life by replacing “I have to” statements with “I choose to”. It is amazing how this little change over your language can positively impact on your view of life.
Instead of just thinking about it, say your intentions out loud to increase your awareness. Again, begin with ‘I am choosing to’ statements. This technique helps you to become more fully aware of your behaviour, replaces automatic behaviour with your true intentions, and reminds you that you do have the power to choose your behaviour.
You may not be aware of it, but you probably have plenty of habits that could be negatively affecting your health. Sometimes we can become a bit overwhelmed with our daily routines, so we can occasionally forget to assess whether those behaviours are to our best advantage, or not. So before you go ahead with your usual activities, take time to assess your automatic behaviours – the habits and routines you’ve become accustomed to. It’s the first step to achieving complete self-awareness.
The moment you establish mindfulness and self-awareness in your life, you will find it easier to manage and control your actions, and choose to be more responsible for them. And because you are taking responsibility over your actions, you will become more careful and smart when choosing your behaviour – a critical factor to living a happy life!
By developing this Mindful approach, you will encourage your conscious and subconscious mind to work together for the benefit of your physical and mental health. From choosing your words to choosing your behaviour, recognising your automatic or subconscious behaviour, stating your intentions, and being responsible for what you say and do, you are actually inviting health and happiness to your life!