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Last week I created this mindfullness (typo and all) graphic for Pinterest. My intention was to simplify some concepts I've learned through the books I linked in (Quarantine Reads).

I wanted to encourage reading but I completely underestimated the magnitude of Pinterest. I was not prepared for the impressions, saves and clicks! I'm in awe that something like this resonated with so many. This post is dedicated to Mindfulness. I owe it to you.

Mindfulness is the mental state of being aware of something. Mindfulness is the decision to pay attention. This includes paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, behavior and body. They’re all connected.

Most of us are aware of our thoughts and feelings - I'm mad. I'm annoyed. Our feelings then lead to a series of thoughts - They're always doing that to me. They're so mean. They never listen. Our thoughts then lead to we react or respond to said situation. Which can be overreacting and saying things we don't truly mean.

Mindfulness is recognizing that you are not your thoughts. Thoughts pop into your head as mental reactions. What does that mean? It means that your mind will tell you a million reasons why to be and why to feel the way you do, by feeding you thoughts that keep that feeling (mad, sad, annoyed) alive. The problem? Thoughts are not facts. Just because you think it, doesn't mean it's accurate or real.

Continue with the example above and lets replace they with he as if my spouse and I are arguing; I'm so mad. He never listens. He's always doing this to me. He knows I hate it. He doesn't care. He never acknowledges my frustration. Nothing will ever change.

See how the mind takes you down a rabbit hole of negativity? The thoughts are instant, compulsive and a little obsessive. Your mind keeps you in this space of anger and frustration by feeding you more and more anger and frustration. You’re feeling extra annoyed from the made up conversation and/or argument in your head. You probably haven’t even talked to "him". Yes,"you're" hurt. You can be hurt and upset. However, you must be mindful to the extra parts you're head is fueling. Why? Because pessimism and anxiety likely kicked in and chances are you’re going to react or overreact to those.

Living in the past. Going back to the moments in time that didn't work out and/or disappointed you. This is when your thoughts go back to the past or that last disagreement and say things like; He knows I hate it. He never listens to me. He lied last time.

Knows, Never and Lied are past tense. It's the past coming into the present moment in the form of judgement or assumption.

Nothing good ever happens because nothing good ever happened. Happened is past tense.

If you've heard of the word ego before, this is where I identify the presence of ego the most. You decided to be upset at this point. You brought the past into the present to solidify your own emotions and thoughts.

Living in the future. There over now mindset. Many of us fall in this category. When I have the money. When I loose the weight. When I get the degree. When the kids get older. When I get a better job.

These thoughts imply that happiness, fulfillment or change will come at a later date. They bypass the present moment and create anxiety to get "there". We stop seeing the joy in the present because we tell ourselves to wait for more or something better to come along.

This is why Mindfulness exists. To recognize when your mind is creating and/or maximizing a dilemma that does not fully exist and prevents us from being happy right now.

The end goal of mindfulness is to stop overthinking, overreacting, and to be at peace with where you're at right now; the present.

Accepting the present moment as it is without judgement. That means what it says. The present moment is not the past or the future, it is right now. Don't mix the three. Don't dwell on the reasons or the motives out of your immediate control right now. This includes other people. What they do or why they do it, is ultimately their own issue. Accept them as they are. If you cannot do that then they do not belong in your life.

So what am I saying with all this? Your mind is full of (crap) thoughts and in order to live a fuller life, one must recognize that. The goal is to train the mind and yourself, to drop the thoughts and things that don't grow, heal or nurture peace...stop stressing yourself out! Stop talking down to yourself!

Mindfulness Benefits:

  • Increased awareness (of thoughts, emotions & behavior)

  • Compassion (towards self & others)

  • Clarity (life vision & purpose)

  • Emotional control (not everything requires a reaction)

  • Increased focus (being present)

  • Strengthened sense of identity (who you are & what you want)

If you catch your mind drifting into judgement, pessimism or anxiety, use that awareness to bring you back to peace. Breathe. Focus on the breathing or tell yourself to focus on the sounds and sensations around you. Can you hear silence? What do you feel (physically)? Be centered. Heard of that before? That's how interpret it. Remind yourself to go back to peace. This applies to interactions with other people as well. Pause and find peace before deciding to reply or react. It's ok to just listen. We don't need to respond.

It is a process friends. Mindfulness requires a lot of practice and practice equals progress. Be patient with yourself.

I hope this helps. Remember that thoughts become things. Choose them wisely. You decide which thoughts to drop and keep. Focus on the good and the positive. It will find its way back to you.

Peace & Love,

Xx Dee



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