How to be Mindful
Your focus determines your reality.
In times when it seems that everyone is feeling compressed, misunderstood and marginalized, the practice of mindfulness becomes even more crucial to slow the litany of cynicism and stress that are at the very root of so many stress-related issues.
Here are three pieces of advice I have found that have helped me in my own journey find a sense of calm when the outer world seems too hectic.
1. Examine Your Feelings
Feelings are designed to encourage humans as a species to determine what is positive or negative. Our ancestors developed this skillset over thousands of years of evolution, to help us move toward things that were nourishing and fruitful and to move us away from things that were harmful.
When you notice a feeling of discomfort, anger, sadness or jealousy arise, sit with that feeling. Look at how it motivates your actions or where those feelings want to take you. If your feelings are not moving you toward a state of happiness, recognize that they are fleeting and with time, will pass. Giving time to process your feelings will prevent becoming engulfed or overwhelmed by them. You will find the ability to step back and view yourself more objectively. This technique can distance you from feelings that are wasteful or negative to your well-being.
2. Examine Your Actions
There are times when what we say is not in alignment with what we are doing. For example, if you tell yourself that you have healthy eating habits, but cram donuts into your face for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then your actions are not in line with your self statements. If you say you are going to do something, do it! Fulfill your commitments to friends and family and follow through with tasks, no matter how small. It sounds silly, but the smallest actions left unfinished can create areas within your life that are stagnant and lack lustre. Call that old friend you’ve been putting off, clean out your closet and step up to the challenge of putting your words into action. Once this energy starts to move, shifts of a positive nature become the norm and actions create movement in an upward direction.
3. Examine Your Thoughts
There is a great quote from one of the Star Wars films that has great truth. The character of Qui-Gon Jinn (played by Liam Neeson) says to a young Anakin Skywalker (the young version of Darth Vader) that “Your focus determines your reality”. Much like Young Skywalker, we too often focus our energy and time into things that do not advance our journey to happiness. We wonder why life seems so hard, so unfair and so cruel at times. We unknowingly focus on what we lack, what we are not and therefore our view of the world becomes one of disadvantage and scarcity. Instead, try to focus on what you already possess that is a blessing and focus on where you want to grow.
A scattered mind yields a clouded picture; hone your vision to crystal clarity and believe in what you are projecting. Shifting focus away from the negative will encourage the universe to open your eyes and ultimately your heart to a reality that is abundant and full of joy. Humans were meant to be joyful and happy; focus on that happiness and make it an every day reality!
Try using a diffuser and some essential oils to help balance out the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
- 3 drops peppermint oil
- 3 drops wild orange oil