Well-Being Practice: Bringing Mindfulness into your Daily Life
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
By practicing mindfulness, you begin to know yourself, beyond your thoughts, feelings, or physical body. Knowing yourself doesn’t come from thinking or contemplation. You can’t know yourself by engaging in logical, intellectual pursuit. It can only come from the mind engaging in simply being.
In our very busy, overfilled, and over-scheduled days, we rarely get a moment to just be. Mindfulness meditation calms the body and mind so we can practice non-attachment and non-judgment. During the normal course of a day, our energy follows our thoughts. You might be in a meeting but have a thought about a project that’s due in 2 weeks. Your energy follows that thought and you may think about the additional research you need to complete, some angle to the project you have not considered, or think about an e-mail you have to send to your associate. In that moment, you’ve disengaged with being by not being fully present in the meeting.
We naturally give attention to our thoughts out of habit. We have a tendency to believe every thought is important, crucial in that moment. After all, our thoughts are our thoughts. However, our thoughts are biased by our mood, past experience, situation, and, of course, lack of information or lack of accurate information.
List five ways you can cultivate mindfulness in your daily life. It can be routine activities such as walking, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, eating, driving, or answering the phone. Throughout the week, as you engage in these routine activities, use it as an anchor, an opportunity to return back to the present moment.