5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Daily Life – The Good Men Project

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Daily Life – The Good Men Project

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Mindfulness is about creating a strong, healthy relationship with yourself in a practical way. But whenever I research the topic of mindfulness, it’s almost always interconnected with meditation. While meditation is amazing, and I don’t dispute its benefits, some of us have a harder time meditating. I believe that attaching the two terms together actually discourages those who can’t meditate from practicing mindfulness.

I have been practicing mindfulness (without meditation) for a few years now, and while it may sound difficult, it doesn’t have to be. As Ellen J Langer says in her book, Mindfulness:

“Trying to be mindful at all times may seem exhausting… I believe that being mindful is not hard, but rather it may seem hard because of the anxious self-evaluation we add. “What if I can’t figure it out?””

Here is the thing, you don’t need to figure it out all the time. The benefits of mindfulness lie in your attempts to get in touch with yourself, let go of old ways that no longer serve you and create new contexts. Mindfulness means seeing things in a new light and believing in the possibility of change.

Mindfulness is about creating a strong, healthy relationship with yourself in a practical way. But whenever I research the topic of mindfulness, it’s almost always interconnected with meditation. While meditation is amazing, and I don’t dispute its benefits, some of us have a harder time meditating. I believe that attaching the two terms together actually discourages those who can’t meditate from practicing mindfulness.

I have been practicing mindfulness (without meditation) for a few years now, and while it may sound difficult, it doesn’t have to be. As Ellen J Langer says in her book, Mindfulness:

“Trying to be mindful at all times may seem exhausting… I believe that being mindful is not hard, but rather it may seem hard because of the anxious self-evaluation we add. “What if I can’t figure it out?””

Here is the thing, you don’t need to figure it out all the time. The benefits of mindfulness lie in your attempts to get in touch with yourself, let go of old ways that no longer serve you and create new contexts. Mindfulness means seeing things in a new light and believing in the possibility of change.

Here are five ways you can incorporate mindfulness practice into your everyday life. And this is exactly how I stay mindful daily.

1. Question your emotions

As you go about your day, pay attention to your emotions and ask yourself why you are feeling them. For example, If you are feeling angry try to pinpoint the underlying causes of your anger. You may think it’s due to another person causing you to become angry, but most of the time that is not the true cause of your anger.

Anytime you want to figure out what is behind those negative emotions ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Have my physical needs been met today?

2. Is my body going through any hormonal changes

3. Am I more stressed today than usual?

Asking yourself these questions shifts your perspective on who is in control of the way you feel. So rather than saying to yourself: “I am angry because you made me”, say “I am angry because of this, but I am in control of the outcome” Therefore, you don’t empower the other person to make you miserable, you empower yourself to decide what you want to do with those emotions.

Also, it is equally important to question your positive emotions so you can reach for them when you need to.

2. Reflect on your thoughts

Your thoughts shape your life. You become what you think. In order to keep those thoughts positive, you must separate that negative voice in your mind from yourself. You basically want to have an ongoing conversation with yourself about your thoughts and reflect on where they came from.

Ask yourself: “Are these thoughts founded?” Are you truly a failure, loser or whatever other negative thing you believe you may be? And if so, why? By what standards? Who decides your worth, anyway? YOU DO. You have the power to build your own reality, so be wise about the things you say to yourself. If you wouldn’t say those things to someone else, then you shouldn’t say them to yourself.

3. Give yourself room for error

Mindfulness is about being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and accepting that you are not perfect. Perfection is unattainable. So what if today you were not as productive as you could have been? Tomorrow you will get a second chance at it. Or, you may have failed on a project and naturally feel like such a failure. But what about everything you learned along the way? Perhaps you can use this knowledge, or skills, in the future. You have no choice but to move forward. So give yourself the opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes.

4. Be aware of automatic behavior

A lot of times I catch myself doing things mindlessly. I just do them that way because this is what I learned from my environment. This is how habits develop. And automatic behavior is what makes it difficult for us to break old habits and form new ones.

Be mindful of your automatic behavior whenever it doesn’t serve you well. The best way to evolve as a person is to constantly adjust your habits to meet your current needs, or lifestyle.

5. See things from others’ perspective

I believe this is a crucial step in mindfulness practice. Yes, we want to be in touch with our thoughts and feelings, but we should also strive to see things from other people’s perspective. In doing so, we minimize misunderstandings and have an easier time letting of negative emotions caused by others.

There are different ways of saying and doing things, and your way may not always be the best. We have a lot to learn from each other as long as we stay open-minded and willing to hear out what others have to say.

Mindfulness is the road to inner peace. It won’t always be smooth, but it will lead you to a better version of yourself.

Previously published on inspoplace.com and is republished here under permission.

 

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