As people, we are really blessed with a lot of amazing mental abilities. Often we take these things we can do for granted and our abilities often get lost because of it. For example, we are imaginative and highly intelligent as a species but how often do we forget to use these qualities to better our lives? Do we even realize what it would be like to not have these abilities? Not only are we filled with amazing abilities there is a part of our mind that we may be totally unaware of and that’s the amazing power of mindfulness.
What Exactly is What’s Known as Mindfulness?
This is a type of self-awareness. It’s something that allows you to be present in the moment and to accept things for what they truly are without any kind of judgment.
This actual concept originally came from the teachings of the Buddhist beliefs. It has now been adapted for treating depression and for helping with regulating moods and also seems to have a variety of other health benefits.
When a person is what’s called mindful, will be aware of what’s going on in the current moment. They will become very aware of themselves and what’s going on around them. However, even though they may be extremely aware of their surroundings they learn just to observe the things around them. One learns to become aware of their personal thoughts and their feelings but they don’t react to these things that put them on a type of auto-pilot.
Turning Off Autopilot
Normally, we generally run on auto-pilot during our lives. We tend to have minds that sometimes seems to have a will of its own. Our thoughts often come and go as they please and sometimes it makes us feel as if we have no control over this.
When a person is able to stand back and actually observe what’s going on in their own minds they soon learn how easily it seems that their thoughts skip from one idea to the next and often interrupting each idea and even overlapping all of the thoughts with constant streams of ideas, memories, desires, and pictures.
Mindfulness is a process that helps a person learn to truly take a step away from all of this and calmly observe all of this activity and feelings that are going through their mind. It helps a person to learn to separate themselves from the influence from it all.
The Pure Essence of Mindfulness
When a person becomes mindful they will become a witness that is relaxed and calm when it comes to their inner life. They will be freed from always being affected by all the mental activity that goes on. It also helps them rid themselves of all the judgments they might have about the world that surrounds them.
The key here is observation. Mindfulness helps a person to observe their own thoughts as well as feelings instead of letting themselves get caught up in it all and just swim around in all the chaos that can be caused from all of this activity. Once someone becomes aware and conscious on this level and are actually living in and for the moment, they can turn off their auto-pilot.
Mindfulness Can Free One From Judgments That Can Be Harmful
When a person becomes mindful, they are in a state of attentiveness to the present. Instead of being a person that judges the things that are going on around them as either something bad or good they just accept these things for what they are. They learn not to label or judge the different events or circumstances in their lives and it frees them from the normal way one often reacts to these events or circumstances. Judgments can be quite fruitless and do no one any good. Here’s a simple example:
You are driving down the road and another car cuts you off without warning. Most often your mind will judge the person right away and think of their action as bad or even disrespectful and this causes instant anger.
Sure, we all have a right to feel however we want to feel about what we might perceive as a rude driver, but the anger one might allow rise is a choice. This is a choice that auto-pilot has automatically made. Now, when you are on auto-pilot the feelings and thoughts you have will lead to reactions that might not be good reactions. However, when you are more alert and more mindful of the present moment you are in you will react and respond to the world around you with a far more openness and with a lot more acceptance instead of harsh judgment and automatic reactions.
There’s a Choice When You’re Mindful
Again, judgment can be fruitless but, it’s also harmful to a person. If a person reacts with anger to that driver who cut them off and then eventually realizes that there’s nothing to change what just happened once this has come and gone, it often makes the person even angrier. Then blame is often put on that other driver for making them feel so angry in the first place. But, when a person is mindful they can choose to be angry or choose to just let it go.
When a person is more mindful they learn to be a lot more aware of all that is going on around them at that very moment and they aren’t bogged down with all the mental activity that’s going on in their minds. There is a space that mindfulness can open up and it gives a person the chance to calmly observe all that’s happening with a fresh view and accept all of it for what it is and just leave there.
If a person doesn’t have a mindful approach they react emotionally, mentally and even physically to their lives and often times there are consequences for these reactions and can be quite damaging.
Mindfulness Can Help to Heal Emotional Disturbances
The process of mindfulness can help a person with their inner awareness. It can help a person with their negative thoughts or emotions that might be troubling and then interfering with their innermost harmony.
Mindfulness not only helps one to observe what’s going on around them in their world but it can also help a person to step back and actually observe their thoughts and their feelings without judging themselves. It allows a person to still feel these things but helps them to be more aware that they simply are not who a person really is and they’re just temporary and will pass.
Life is going to throw hard times at people, there’s no avoiding that. People are going to feel sadness, anger, grief all through life. No one is going to be happy always. However, with mindfulness, a person can learn how to observe all of these feelings and not label them bad or good. Mindfulness teaches a person to learn to choose to accept these feelings as what they are, just feelings.
Mindfulness teaches people to let the emotions be, give them the chance to pass by. All of us have emotions and they come and go, they rise and fall. However, through the act of being mindful one is taught to not label them and don’t resist them.
By practicing mindfulness one is taught to allow the emotions to come and go and to help defuse one’s negative, disturbing emotions, and aggressive feelings instead of just trying to suppress them. It also helps you to avoid indulging in these emotions and feelings.
Meditation & Mindfulness Go Hand in Hand
When it comes to mindfulness and meditation, these two things go well together and quite naturally. When they are practiced together they tend to strengthen one another. Unlike a variety of relaxation techniques out there, mindfulness is something that if learned well can actually be used during any kind of stressful situation. When a person is mindful they will stay alerted and then will respond in the appropriate way to whatever the situation is. What they don’t do is allow themselves to go on auto-pilot and react.
When a person practices mindfulness they’ll eventually discover that they actually start to gather a lot less mental noise during their day. They will start to feel much calmer and more clear as they go through their daily activities. They also will discover how much easier it is to practice daily meditation when combined with mindfulness.
Once a person learns to practice being mindful it will then enhance their ability to meditate far better. Then when a person can practice a deeper meditation then, in turn, their ability to be mindful will become a lot easier.
Special Gift From Mindfulness
One of the best benefits one will receive from mindfulness tends to be their increased appreciation they will have about life in general. Someone who becomes very highly attentive and also mindful often will find that everything in life becomes a lot more rewarding and fulfilling.