I heard lots of people talk about mindful living lately and this got me to thinking of how it applies to my own life. To start us off let’s talk about what mindful living is.
Mindful living is about living in the present moment without judging yourself or others. For many people, mindful living is not natural. They tend to live on autopilot. The problem with this is that autopilot mode often amps you up. For example, you’re driving to your favorite nail salon to get a manicure. You’re excited about treating yourself.
But as you’re driving, you start thinking about the argument you had with your spouse three weeks ago. Before you know it, you’re all fired up again. Instead of living in the current moment, you found yourself re-living the past. This makes it hard to move on and can lead you to carrying around anger and other unpleasant emotions.
Mindful Living = Cultivating A Judgement Free Zone
Instead of reacting emotionally to situations like people do on autopilot, you can choose to focus on the current moment without letting your emotions take over. You might see a distressing story on the news. You feel angry and sad. But instead of reaching for your phone to distract yourself, you stay in the moment. You acknowledge your emotions without judgement. This frees you from losing a day of productivity because you were fixated on this one moment.
Mindful Living Makes You More Appreciative
During unenjoyable moments, like while you’re cleaning your home or compiling boring data for a client, it can be tempting to let your mind wander. But part of mindful living is staying in the moment, even if that moment is unpleasant or uncomfortable. However, just because you’re staying aware during an unpleasant moment, you don’t have to give into feelings of negativity. Instead, focus on giving thanks. For example, you might say something like, “I’m grateful that I have enough clients to pay my bills” or “I’m blessed to have a home to clean”. Now, you’ve managed to stay in the moment without letting yourself focus on the negative.
How This Improves Your Mood
Few things can improve your mood quite like mindful living. Often, anxious thoughts are the result of worrying about the future while sad thoughts are related to regretting the past. Mindful living helps because it forces you to stop overthinking. Unless there’s something you can do to change your past, you have to accept what’s happened in your life. If you do find that you’re frequently haunted by regrets or always worrying about tomorrow, it might be smart to speak to a trained counselor who can help you move on.
My Recent Experiences
As you know we are traveling right now, and of course we ran into some car trouble. The brakes started heating up and we need new back brakes to get us home. Not being at home we can’t access a bank here in the U.S. so will have to pay on a credit card, which means the bill will be even more once converted back to Canadian dollars – our rate sucks right now. While we are upset at this naturally, the brakes would have gone regardless of where we were. So this is what we are focusing on, instead of the crazy exchange rate right now.
We are thankfully that this happened while in Florida and while we were in the Daytona area so it wasn’t too far to the repair place. The downside was we had to go to the dealership as we couldn’t find a local place that would repair a Dodge vehicle, even though it’s a North American make.
Another area that I see lots of people talk about when they mention any type of mindful living, is mindful eating. This is where you are aware of how much food you are eating and how it makes you feel. You eat at a slower rate and put your utensils down and examine if you are still hungry or not. You make a mindful choice to continue to eat more or not.
With mindful eating, when you are full you put away your leftovers for the next day. You get out of the habit of finishing your place, so as not to waste food. Eating only what you need to become full.
Check out this blog post for more info on mindful eating. Click Here
Do you have any mindful living or mindful eating tips you would like to share? Leave them in the comments section below.