Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Why practicing mindfulness makes living so much more enjoyable
Be still. Be present.
It’s a simple idea. All you really need to do is slow down. Exercise awareness of your surroundings. Take a few deep breaths and focus.
The positive effects of mindfulness have long been known and advocated by many. We are well aware that there are benefits to focusing our awareness and attention. Despite this however, many of us find ourselves needing to be reminded to take a moment and simply be. Why is this?
Now more than ever we lead busy lives. The ordinary person maintains a precarious balance between family, work and social life. It’s easy to be consumed in this whirlwind. We are constantly flitting from moment to moment, and in doing so, we put ourselves on autopilot and forget to take things as they come. Our thoughts may wander, instead choosing to ponder abstract ideas or reflect on past and future events. These are all interesting and relevant thoughts to have, but it must be acknowledged that the past and future are just illusions. You are only ever experiencing the current moment.
Without tuning in and being present in the now, we risk missing it all together.
Even the extraordinary should be mindful
This is not only restricted to people living in their daily routine. For the souls who identify as travellers, adventure seekers, entrepreneurs or busy-bodies, we know that even when escaping the mundane and plunging into exciting experiences, we can miss enjoying it to its full breadth.
For those so curious about the world and what life has to offer it is easy to get caught up in the exhilaration of adventure. The crucial point is to learn to not get caught up in completing the journey. We often need to remind ourselves to adjust to the pace, still our thoughts and take a pause- enjoying the journey itself is our ultimate goal. The best way to make an experience worthwhile is to recognize every moment as a meaningful moment. Be present, be engaged and be grateful while you are living an ongoing memory. How? Here are our favorite tips!
1) Continuously re-focus
It’s almost habitual to let our brains recede into their own thoughts. Our default is to daydream or dwell on the past and future. Mindfulness is the act of actively keeping an open attention to the present. Changing up this frame of mind and breaking out of the cycle requires work. A great start to shifting into this perspective is making a conscious decision to be in the moment.Whenever you find your mind wandering, recognize it, take a deep breath and recenter yourself in the present moment.
2) Learn how to be present
There are many exercises and techniques that help us explore mindfulness. You don’t necessarily need to chunk out 30 minutes of your day to meditate. It can be as simple as:
Being aware of where you are
Taking deep, long breaths
Focusing on the sensations of the moment
Observing the present moment as it is
Redirecting attention on your emotions
The more you tune into the present moment and bask in it, the easier it is to enter a mindful state of mind.
3) Engage with what you see
The best way to participate fully in the present is to interact with it. Engage the moment not only by being fully conscious of your surroundings and thoughts, but also by drinking in the scene with your eyes. A good habit to have is the practice of taking pictures and capturing tidbits of your life. Some may argue that this detracts from the experience, but if done with the right intentions, photographing and recording can enhance your presence in a moment. And what is even better: it will allow us to reflect on it later.
What happens when we are mindful?
It’s not an automatic cure to well-being but there are small positive effects that take place in ourselves. Soon we come to realize that we have greater control over our emotions. Anxiety and stress lessen or become more manageable. In their absence you cultivate greater peace and self awareness. You become less judgemental and critical. By processing your thoughts and experiences in such a conscious way, you are able to improve your relationships with yourself and others. Being present and attentive leads to empathy and compassion. The overall experience is much better when you waste no time and maximize the now.
If you’re keen to live a full life then consider transitioning into a mindful lifestyle.
Learn to be present because as Eckhart Tolle says,
“The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant.”
Get out of your own autopilot :) Worry less about the past and the future. What we have and can make use of is the now. So go on and enjoy the journey! Remember to focus, breathe and maybe take some pictures along the way. It will be worth it. And for all of you who can’t wait to be mindful with Cookie Jar, we have exciting news: the wait will soon be over.
Be ready for the release.