The modern world is undoubtedly a fast-paced one. Rushing about to carry out all your essential tasks can be very stressful, so it’s no wonder that more of us find that we’ve lost our connection with the here and now. Many of us find that we’re missing out on the enjoyment of the moment. We overlook the way we’re feeling at any given time, and this can lead to negative consequences mentally and physically in our lives.
Did you wake up feeling rested today? Did you notice those flowers blooming in your street this morning? Did you hear the birds singing as you arrived at work? If the answer to those questions was no, you should think about practicing mindfulness.
What Is Mindfulness?
The term “mindfulness” is used to describe the practice of focusing all your attention purposely on the moment you are in and accepting your feelings and sensations without any judgment. It has been proven to be a significant component in achieving overall happiness and reducing stress levels.
Mindfulness has its origins in Buddhism. However, virtually every religion involves some form of meditation or prayer technique to move your thought patterns away from usual preoccupations and towards a greater appreciation of the here and now.
Practicing mindfulness has been shown to bring a wealth of improvements to both psychological and physical symptoms, helping to bring positive change to attitudes, behaviors, and health. When you’re mindful, you can enjoy life’s pleasures when they occur. This allows you to engage more fully with activities and help you to cope more effectively with adverse events in your life.
If you focus on the given moment, you’ll have a reduced chance of getting caught up with your worries about things you have done in your past or something you’ll do in the future. You’ll have fewer preoccupations with self-esteem and success while also being able to form better and deeper connections with other people.
Mindfulness has been shown to improve your physical health. It can help to improve heart health, relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, reduce pain, improve your sleep and even alleviate gastrointestinal problems. Meanwhile, it offers a host of mental health benefits, including the relief of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and OCD.
Mindfulness Helps Focus
One of the critical points to mindfulness is how it helps with focus. By working through the stages of mindfulness and learning different techniques, such as breathing, you will start to learn to focus on specific steps and aspects of your life. For example, instead of focusing on all of your tasks for the day, the week, your friend’s tasks, and everything else going on, you can focus on the task at hand and be present in that task. This allows you to get the task done quickly and easily.
Mindfulness Helps Stress
Stress can be brought on by several issues. One of the main problems is having too much on our task list and not enough time to focus on each item to completion. Other stressful aspects can be the outside influences of others, including gossip and friends issues and problems. Mindfulness helps you by showing you ways and methods to avoid an immediate reaction and instead focus on issues and decide what you need to take on and what you do not. For example, you can still be there for your fitness without allowing your friends’ issues to become your issues and cause more stress.
Mindfulness is a Routine
In addition to viewing mindfulness as a way to handle events and aspects of your daily life to be happier and less burdened, you should also remember that mindfulness is not a one time event. Mindfulness is not a quick fix, and it is not a Bandaid for your issues. Mindfulness is a routine that you incorporate into your life. By doing mindfulness techniques each day, you will find mindfulness becoming a part of you instead of something you just do.
How Does Mindfulness Work?
Experts believe that, in part, mindfulness works by helping to enable people to accept experiences and emotions instead of reacting with avoidance or aversion.
Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways., However, the primary goal of mindfulness techniques is to become more focused and alert yet relaxed by paying close attention deliberately to the sensations and thoughts you experience at any given moment without judgment. As a result, your mind can refocus effectively on the present.
There are several different mindfulness techniques. However, this is an essential guide to adding mindfulness practice into your life:
- Start by sitting down quietly and focusing on your breathing patterns. Alternatively, you can focus on a mantra or word which you repeat to yourself silently. Allow your thoughts to go and come with no judgment, returning every time to focusing on your mantra or breathing.
- Notice the subtle sensations in your body like tingling or itching. Again, don’t judge them; just allow them to pass. Focus on your attention on every part of the body from your head to your toes.
- Notice the sounds, sights, tastes, touches, and smells around you. Again, exert no judgment, just allow them to come and go.
- All your emotions to stay present, but don’t judge them. Name your feelings steadily and in a relaxed way. Accept their presence then allow them to go.
- Cope with your cravings, whether they are for a pattern of behavior or for a substance. Acknowledge the feelings but allow them to pass through you without judgment. Replace your wish for that craving to subside with the knowledge that this will happen eventually.
You can begin practicing mindfulness alone by using yoga, tai chi or other concentration meditation methods. You simply need to establish concentration, observe the thoughts, sensations and emotions flowing through your body without judgment, and notice the sensations that you experience. While the process may seem not to be remotely relaxing, with time and practice, you’ll find that you become happier and more self-aware.
Top Tips for Introducing Mindfulness Practice into Your Life
If you’re ready to introduce mindfulness practice into your life, you could start attending a class or buy a meditation CD to begin practicing. There are, however, less formal approaches you can adopt. Here are some top tips to help to smooth the path to mindfulness:
- Choose a task during which you’ll practice mindfulness. It could be when you’re walking, showering, or eating.
- Begin by focusing on the sensations your body is going through.
- Breathe slowly through the nose. Allow the air to move downwards to your lower belly and allow your stomach to expand fully.
- Breathe slowly out through the mouth.
- Note the sensations you experience every time you exhale or inhale.
- Slowly, proceed with your chosen task with deliberation.
- Fully engage all your senses. Note every touch, sound and sight. Savor each sensation.
- If you realize your mind is wandering away from the current task, bring your focus back gently onto the sensations you’re experiencing.
You can’t rush mindfulness. However, the more often you practice, the more you’ll find that it’s useful. Be prepared for the fact that it’ll usually take about 20 minutes until your mind starts to settle. Practicing the above techniques for short periods a few times a week is the best way to start, then you can work up to more extended periods of meditation on more days of the week.
Journaling: Mindful Writing for Eating Disorder Recovery
Mindfulness is a practice that is used in many mental health situations, including people with eating disorders. When you are more mindful, you are living in the moment and only focusing on what is going on right now. You are not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Mindful writing can be used with your journal and help with your eating disorder.
Describing What is Going on Right Now
Mindfulness is all about living in the moment, no matter what you are doing or thinking. It is where you let go of worries about things that should not concern you. You are appreciating what is happening right now. When you are using mindfulness in writing in your journal for eating disorder recovery, talk about whatever you feel now. Don’t write about what happened yesterday or worries for next week. Just describe your current state of affairs, being completely honest with yourself about how you feel. Be optimistic in your writing, even if you don’t feel your best or feel like you are struggling. This helps a lot with mindfulness.
Focus on the Positive Only
Remember mindfulness writing isn’t just writing every single thought or feeling you have like regular journaling, but focusing on the positive aspects. Try to push the negative thoughts aside, and find those positive or uplifting thoughts you have right now. Instead of dwelling on cravings you are trying to avoid or the urge to purge, instead focus on something good that happened to you, or show pride that you are choosing to journal instead of give in to those urges. This is an accomplishment, even if it feels like a small and painful one to you right now. Every moment should be celebrated.
Don’t Stress About the Past or Future
It is also important that you not talk about the past or future when doing mindful writing. It is meant to help you concentrate on focus just on what is going on right now. This part of your journal should not talk about your concerns about something coming up, or what has gone on in the past. Keep those thoughts and feelings for other parts of your journal. Think of mindfulness as a type of meditation, where you are trying to focus on just one thing, one moment. Embrace this when you are trying out mindful writing for eating disorder recovery.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
There is so much that can be gained from meditation, and the best way to do it is to start with a book that will guide you through the process. This book is one of the best on the market for learning how to meditate, which is why we’re so highly recommending it. Keep reading to find out more about what we (and others!) have to say about it.
Why This Book
One of the many reasons you should choose this book to learn meditation is that it works well for both beginners or more advanced meditation students. It delves deep into how your thoughts and emotions are related and will help you make the discoveries you need to connect with your inner energy. You will then be able to break free from whatever is holding you back.
Not only does this book show you these connections, but it will teach you exactly what you must do to reach a whole new level of self-awareness and consciousness. You will also learn what you need to let go of to reach these goals, and how you can do that. Living in the present moment is what the author stresses, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
About the Author
Michael A. Singer is a #1 New York Bestselling Author who has written several books devoted to spirituality and inner healing. While he was pursuing his doctorate in economics, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening, which led him to pursue time in seclusion, learning everything he could about meditation and yoga. A few years later, he founded the Temple of the Universe; a center focused on helping people of all walks of life achieve inner peace.
What’s Included in the Book
In Part I: Awakening Consciousness, you will learn how to recognize the sound of your inner voice and figure out who you are. This will allow you to get to know yourself on a deeper level and is the first step in this journey to untethering your soul.
Part II: Experiencing Energy takes you through the steps needed to tap into the inner supply of energy that we all have, but often close ourselves off from. You’ll also learn what you need to do to avoid closing yourself off from this source so you can move on to the next step.
Once you get to Part III: Freeing Yourself, you will be able to let go of the painful things in your past that are holding you back. Finding freedom for your soul is the core of this book, and this section will help you cut off everything that’s holding you back so your soul can fly free.
Next comes Part IV: Going Beyond, which will help you learn how to open up your wings and go beyond healing to pursue spiritual growth that has no limit to how far you can go. You’ll get the steps you need to go more now than you ever thought possible.
The final section is Part V: Living Life. It gives you the practical steps you need to be happy and to live life to the fullest in light of your new outlook on life. You’ll be able to be happier and contemplate death without fear as you reach a new level of inner strength.
How to Read this Book
Because of the profound spiritual truths that this book imparts on its readers, it’s not one that can be read over a quiet weekend to experience the spiritual freedom it offers. Instead, it requires slowly reading part by part and working through each step as it comes up before moving onto the next step. It may require reading the same sections several times before you fully understand the concepts it presents.
Since everybody’s spiritual journey is going to look different, there’s no shame in taking as much time as you need to work through things of your past to be able to live in the present and start looking forward to your future. Fortunately, this book is set up in such a way that you can easily take that time to change your way of thinking and your life.
Here are some things that other readers of this book are saying about it, so you can see just how much this book has changed their lives, and you don’t just have to take our word for it.
“I read the audio version of this book multiple times, bought copies of it for clients, and shared it with friends. Never have I read a book that so radically transformed the way I think. It was remarkably freeing to become so aware of how much I allowed my own thoughts to run my life. After reading Michael’s book, I simply allowed irrelevant, erroneous, totally made up thoughts to just float on by without attaching my emotions to them. THAT was freeing!”
“Inspirational way to live your life on our journey path. A must read for all. I learned a lot about myself.”
“This book takes a lot of patience and understanding to truly grasp what is meant for you, and what will be truly useful advice FOR YOU specifically. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought it for a friend in hardback and left some of my own personal notes in it. If you have previously read this book and are considering getting another copy or are thinking about buying it for the first time, the hardback copy is excellent. Very beautiful presentation and the ribbon place keeper is such a lovely touch!”
“What a deeply profound book. It’s inspirational, smart, and insightful. Page after page brings to light new ideas and an understanding of how we stand in our own way. You will want to read it over and over.”
Where to Buy
The best place to buy this book is on Amazon. You can get a great deal on it, and have several options which allows you to get the perfect book for you. You can choose between the hardcover or softcover version if you’re looking to get a physical book, or you can get it as an ebook on Amazon Kindle. You can also get it as an audiobook if it’s easier for you to listen than to read. You can get also The Untethered Soul 2020 Day-to-Day Calendar.