You might have read in a previous post that I’ve started looking into mindfulness a little recently.
Yes I know, my job isn’t the most stressful thing in the world and in the grand scheme of things I’m not that busy and not that important. But that doesn’t matter. I still, every now and again, get myself stressed out… and it just ain’t worth it.
So I’ve started thinking a little more mindfulness-ly. I’m not saying that I’m a master at the techniques, nor do I rely on it to get me through the day. But I do feel that it has helped. So here’s how and why…
Let go of worrying or stressful thoughts
Ignoring the negative thoughts really means you can entirely the focus on the positives or on what you need to be doing right now. It’s harder than it sounds, but the book tells you to simply stop spending time thinking about the negative or stressful thoughts.
“Mindfulness gives us this opportunity – to let go and stand back from our stressful thoughts, to truly appreciate this moment, just how it really is!”
Obviously, yes, if something negative and important comes up, deal with it. But all those little things throughout the day that really aren’t a big deal? Ignore them.
Another technique that I found useful in the book was just to breathe. Those times when you’re not necessarily doing anything that requires too much brain power – perhaps sitting on the train to work, mindlessly staring at the TV in the evening or walking down the road to the shops – just focus on your breathing.
I often find that in those ‘not-really-doing-anything’ moments, thousands of thoughts whizz round my mind, most of them entirely pointless… but they can get me worked up. Focusing just on your breathing allows you to ignore these thoughts and bring a sense of calm.
Thoughts about thoughts
A thought pops into your head. Quite often you either act on it straight away or begin a train of thoughts on what you are going to do about it in the future. But why? Not all of them are needed…
“With mindfulness we are able to stand back, distance and disconnect ourselves from the content of our own thoughts and see them for exactly what they are – streams of words, sentences, images, pictures of events in our mind, passing by in our awareness.”
And that’s it. That’s all they are. So why get worked up needlessly?
To don’t lists
Ever find yourself saying something along the lines of ‘I need to make time to relax’? I do. But making it an extra task just adds to that never ending to do list. So, quite simply, just do… don’t ‘to do list’ you chill time.
And on that point, don’t make mindfulness a thing to do either. The book tries to teach you to get into the habit of just doing it.
So, in summary, this is what I’ve taken from the book:
- Learn to ignore the unimportant negative thoughts
- Take some time to just breathe
- Think about what you’re thinking about
- Just relax sometimes!
Have you ever tried mindfulness techniques? What works for you? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!
Want to read the book I’m on about? You’ll find mindfulness for busy people here.
Until next time…
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