Although focusing on achieving greater mindfulness has been an effective way for many people to improve their mental health and self-esteem, it can be easy to get lost in the jargon and the extreme modernity of it all.
It is about adopting ancient wisdom and teachings but making them real, practical, and accessible for everyday life.
My mindfulness training is based on MBSR (mindful-based stress reduction by Jon Kabit Zinn ) which is founded and adopting from the ancient wisdom and teachings of Buddhist philosophy.
The reason meditation is at the core of mindfulness is to integrate mindfulness practices into our daily lives to bring calm and quiet and space and peace and rest and rejuvenation.
One of the main benefits of meditation is learning to be more present. It’s so easy to live on autopilot where your thoughts mainly focus on the past or the future, yet so destructive for our happiness, our connections, and our pursuit of living authentically.
It is not necessarily about relaxation but more a calm safe space to become more conscious, more self-conscious more self-aware.
It is about creating that space in our mind so we can feel and hear what our body is trying to tell us.
This quiet and calm and space allows the opportunity to hear, to listen, and to feel what your body is telling you. It allows you the capacity to listen.
When we bring awareness to these feelings we can acknowledge that these feelings influence our thoughts and this has an automatic impact on our behaviors.
Alternatives to meditation as a mindfulness technique
Essentially the secret here is to escape autopilot – we need to become more conscious and more aware and more present so how can we do that
1 One of the key ways to make your mind feel less busy is to stop talking so much – whether that’s about yourself or other people – and simply listen, to other people, to nature, and to your general surroundings. Develop skills and moments to allow you to develop a greater awareness of the world around you.
2 Be an observer – be present in every situation and begin to notice and focus for a moment on your surroundings, the smells, the sights, the people, the sounds, the colors. Fully immersing yourself in each moment and experience will allow you to slow down appreciate everything. It also allows you to become an observer and become more intuitive.
3 Wake up a little earlier than you normally do and as your feet touch the ground practice a moment of gratitude – think of 2 things you are grateful for and remember they don’t have to be big things.
4 Take the stresses away in small ways – get up a few minutes early and do it before you go to bed … write down and plan a do list for each day. Create a harmony of order and keep yourself calm too.
5 Marie Kondo your shizzle
Make your bed, clear the table, clear the messy spaces and create some inner space.
A tidy space is a calm space and this is a great place to start when creating inner calm.
6 Find a new hobby or an activity that requires your entire focus …. And that involves that body-mind connection. You will be so focused on concentrating on the task that your mind will be at rest from your worries, or concerns and it will allow you to escape that inner dialogue and chattering mind. It might be something that requires a dedicated amount of time to learn or hone a specific skill, requires sincere concentration, and perhaps doesn’t provide that immediate gratification that we’re used to. Perhaps, chess, tennis, yoga, dance, the chi
7 Go to nature, go the edge …. There is something incredibly powerful and mindful about standing at the edge of the world and looking out, having your eye drawn out to the horizon. It can offer perspective, be so restorative and calming. It literally lifts your sights and can show you that things move and flow the ebb and tide of life. Remember … and this too shall pass.
8. Get in the zone – be so fully focused on what you are doing that you have complete concentration, you lose track of time, you are confident about what you are doing, judging your progress as you and completely immersed.
9. Journal and reflect
Writing is therapeutic.
Spending a few minutes every day jotting down what’s going on inside or even drawing them can be alternatives to meditation.
Write or draw about what you think, what you feel, where you’re going, what you’re doing, or any of the endless ideas, goals, or mind movies that go on inside you. Get it out of your head so you can create space in your mind again.
Some people have very visual minds. You need to see it to believe it. Not only is visualization a form of escapism but it allows us to imagine a new path. It allows you to imagine what experiences will feel like, what thoughts might arise, and how you may behave. It can create a sense of inner peace and calm when you are done as you feel more prepared.