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It used to be called attention. Today it's called mindfulness. The principle is similar: Turn off the autopilot which usually leads our lives. It is good for your personal development, your relationships, more satisfaction and happiness in life and it really can help you to deal with stress. Here are some tips for you.
A Personal Example: When the Mindfulness Is Missing
In the past, I often helped people with renovation and wallpapering, or carried out the corresponding work in my house. And on one occasion I was a little careless: I was called to take a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. I wanted to finish my work quickly, so I was in a hurry—and cut myself with the cutter knife.
It looked pretty bloody, but I did't feel the pain. I was probably "careless" again. For one thing, I had learned to ignore the pain. Secondly, I was in shock. In any case, I was mentally a bit "absent" and not notice the pain.
But what is this mindfulness that I unfortunately missed?
The Term: What is mindfulness?
A few years ago, there was much talk in the media and literature of the Info flute or the Info stress. And in connection with that, it was about the attention—or, more rarely, the concentration.
Today, people are talking less about attention, and more about mindfulness. It is matching trends like yoga, meditation, relaxation, and so on.
The Benefit: Why should you learn to be mindful?
I will mention five major benefits you can have from a greater mindfulness.
1. More Relaxation and Less Stress
I just heard from my new co-worker that relaxation classes are not so fashionable anymore. At the same time, people are more stressed than before.
When you practice mindfulness, it is easier to get out of habitual processes and the hamster wheel that we love to squeeze. You learn to question your own reactions and thus your share of your stress. You can then have a very concrete influence on this problem and switch off from what makes you more stressed-—from around-the-clock accessibility for your boss to many leisure activities.
2. More Awareness of Your Own Body
If you belong to the highly sensitive people, you often have a disturbed relationship with your body and its signals. But even "normal people" often see their body as an annoying appendage that only reports when it feels pain.
Take care of your body and you will be prone to go beyond your limits and be less indulgent in an unhealthy lifestyle or succumb to modern burnout as well.
3. More Awareness of Yourself
Years ago, I wrote a column on the topic, why so many people cannot be good with themselves. One of my ideas was that these moments of calmness could reflect on yourself and make you think on the question of who you really are, what is good for you or what you want in life.
If you are mindful, you perceive your thoughts, your feelings and your needs better.
4. More Work on Your Ego
Mindfulness is important for your personality development. You can only work on your own ego if you recognize your habitual patterns and behaviors better.
5. More Satisfaction in Life
If you are mindful, you can better understand the essence. What is important to you? What makes you happy? Too much energy goes into things that contribute little to our well-being.
The aforementioned highly sensitive individuals naturally find it easier to have a better feeling for their fellow human beings. If you do not belong to highly sensitive people, you can train your social behavior with mindfulness.
Mindful people live more here and now. They neither mourn the past in too great a degree nor worry about the future permanently.
Mindful people can more easily adapt their thought patterns and behaviors to changing circumstances; and much more.
The practice: How can you train your mindfulness?
How do you train this "miracle cure mindfulness"? For that, I have some creative-mental suggestions.
Tip 1: The wake-up call
As I said, mindfulness is attention. And you are not mindful when you run habitual programs. To stay with the above example: I was cutting wallpaper strips all day long; the whole thing was familiar to me. So familiar that when I was in a hurry I did not look closely - and cut my finger.
Break your routines. This is also something that I always say as a creativity trainer, whether that is the way to work or the bedtime procedure. If you want, you can even set an alarm clock (quite literally). Or "anchor" by trying to train your mindfulness at each red light for a few moments, for example.
At the next few points, do not let yourself be torn out of your routine. You are doing something conscious for your mindfulness.
Tip 2: Exercise more intensively. Train your senses.
For example, grab your bike and cycle through the city. Be inspired by the finally spring and sit down in the next café. Grab a notebook and write down what you see, hear, smell, and so on. The splashing of a fountain, the smell of fresh coffee, the occasional murmur of voices (there are only a few guests left), a cool breeze from the left.
Writing helps you to perceive more consciously and intensively.
Tip 3: Perceive more intensively. Learn to see details.
Many people find it difficult to recognize details. But you are not really mindful without the ability to look closely. Therefore, as a writer and business coach, I have always "tricked" my students to going into the details as much as possible.
Here is an exercise for you: Write to a pen pal (or imagine you write to a pen pal), and to one whose environment is best distinguished from yours.
Then tell him about your everyday life and your home, have fun, and get him anecdotes from your life. For example, I like to go to the market on the weekend and cover myself with fresh food for the coming week. Write with all your senses and do not save with details.
Tip 4: Change your information habits.
We live today in a media age. These media have many benefits and can create togetherness. But if we fall into it without a sense of proportion, we should not be surprised at a lack of mindfulness. In many households, the TV is running all day (rarely the radio). Book or magazine piles trigger stress already at the sight of them. And the Internet is known not only for targeted information recording used.
Limit and channel your media consumption. Decide what you want to use and sometimes treat yourself to a complete "medial break." For example, spend this time intensively with other people or alone. Stroll through woods and fields or just sit quietly at your favorite spot.
Tip 5: Slow down your thinking
Quick thinking has its advantages. If you have good intuition, you can just leave it to it. But you will be more careful if you think "slowly" about your every move or decision now and then.
For example, I have been working on a project for half a year, which I will only be able to implement in a few months. In the meantime, it has taken shape and matured piece by piece. Also, I leave my set course formats "hang out" for a while and look for improvements to adapt to the changed circumstances. Sometimes it also means, "Hurry with time."
Tip 6: Recognize your thoughts.
As you meditate (regularly, consciously), you practice being mindful on your thoughts. But that works too, even if you are not a follower of meditations.
Here is an exercise for you: retire to the silence. Do not do anything. Do not move. And then, try to mentally view what you have experienced and seen from all sides. What do you look like, how do you feel? Describe it. Learn it.
Tip 7: Stay away from your thoughts.
You are not the prisoner of your thoughts. For example, you do not have to think, "God, I'm totally stressed out." For one thing, you can of course, as already mentioned above, work very hard on this stress and reduce your "stress factors."
But you can also let go of these stress thoughts and replace them with other thoughts/perceptions. Even in the middle of the daily bustle.
Or you can reinterpret the stress thoughts. For example, think: well, I am pretty busy right now. But here and there, are the next resting phases and recreational island.
Tip 8: Everything is relative.
This goes in a similar direction: Recognize that all our perceptions, like our thoughts, depend on:
a) Our background
b) Our own perceptual filters.
If you keep this in mind, you will automatically become more attentive and ask yourself about the salary of your reality.
Tip 9: Recognize your patterns and beliefs.
If you have a little more practice in this kind of introspection, you may also recognize your own recurring "thought patterns" (or behaviors). Maybe you, like me, have learned to ignore pain because "Indian knows no pain" (belief with which you grew up).
Such a pattern can have advantages, but also disadvantages. It would be more worthwhile to have recognized this pattern and then consciously applied it once and replaced it with another one. (For example, one who handles with a cutter knife should pay full attention to it.)
Tip 10: Train your body perception.
Well, now I have been more focused on mental tips and activities the whole time. That is right, many people run around here carelessly. And even people who have already dealt with that topic, like me, repeatedly have "knife accidents."
But do not ignore your body—not just as a mentally strong, but as a body-blind highly sensitive person. The body has its own truth and speaks its own language. In addition, our intuition is often enough in our "gut feeling."
Learn to hear and understand its signals. It also trains your mindfulness. For example, for this you can engage in sports with self-intense and body perception (dance/yoga/Tai Chi/Qi Gong/Feldenkrais and so on), take singing lessons (who sings properly, sings with the full body, not only from the Head), paint with fingers and body use, cook, run, treat yourself to massages, and etc.
You may already see mindfulness is not the same mindfulness, and a wide range. Find out where you are strong and where you are weak. And then you work on these "weak spots."
Karen Berns is a business coach and writer with over five years experience. She specialized in Creative Writing. Her job is creating professionally written college papers online and it is her passion. Her main goal is to help people find the balance in their lives. She want to share her life experience and inspire people to take a risk and change their life for better. Her motto is "the more you learn, the more you are a human."