So how do you cultivate mindfulness in a world that is full of distracting apps, emails, and noise? Cultivating mindfulness can be challenging in the chaotic world we live in. However, there are some tips and tricks you can use to be mindful. Try these seven mindfulness tips that will change your life.
1. Be curious and savor the moment.
Approach everyday things with curiosity and savor them. Life is full of so many beautiful things. Food tastes better when you’re hungry. Breathing in fresh air energizes you to accomplish big goals. Waking up in the morning to a hot cup of coffee and a pet sleeping at your feet reminds you that life is marvelous.
Cultivating a sense of curiosity and opening oneself to new experiences each day has many benefits, including boosting immune function and coping better with stress.
It’s simple: just pause and be present to the little things. Savoring anything is a mindfulness practice. And that can make all the difference.
2. Forgive your mistakes, big or small.
We all make mistakes. But we seldom learn from them because we tend to beat ourselves up, feel bad about it, and repeat the same mistake over and over again. Being mindful of our mistakes can help us forgive ourselves and change the future course of our actions. This is an integral part of maintaining healthy relationships and stopping toxic thoughts from being reinforced in your head. It’s a skill worth developing – not only for ourselves but also for those around us.
3. Show gratitude for good moments and grace for the not-so-good ones.
Life is a series of peaks and valleys—a back and forth between lows and highs, yin and yang. Life naturally alternates between these two sides, but what is our role in our life’s up-down cycle? Rather than lament the low times as bad or unfortunate, we practice gratitude for each moment, regardless of its peaks or valleys. The art of being mindful helps to focus the mind on the present moment while cultivating gratitude for all of our blessings. The results? We’re grateful for each moment. Give yourself grace for those not-so-good moments.
4. Practice compassion and nurture connections.
It’s difficult to practice compassion when you’ve had a series of traumatic events in your life. Trauma and pain eat away at our ability to connect to our compassion for others. To be compassionate, you must learn to forgive. Remember, forgiveness isn’t about devaluing the negative experience that happened or giving that person a pass. It’s about freeing yourself from resentment and anger. When you’re ready, practice tolerance and let go of the anger that sits like poison in your soul.
I’ve said this repeatedly, that true emotional intelligence isn’t independence but interdependence. When we’re able to lean on each other, it is the highest achievement of a human’s soul––a spiritual evolution because that requires vulnerability. It’s easy to close yourself off and run away. However, it’s a lot harder to stay and reach out your hand. So, nurture the relationships that you have, the ones that nourish your soul. We’re herd-like creatures and cannot manage long periods of isolation.
5. Make peace with imperfection––inside and out.
Making peace with imperfection is quite hard for most, mainly if we grew up in a critical and judgemental household. Perfection isn’t about getting it right. It’s about low-self worth and not feeling good enough. Research shows that striving for perfection can lead to high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Perfection is an unattainable target that doesn’t come with any prizes. Practice accepting and making peace with your imperfections by using mindfulness practices to heal those inner wounds.
6. Embrace vulnerability by trusting others and yourself.
If we want to find a true sense of security in life and our relationships, we have to overcome our fear of vulnerability. This takes trust and lots of it. According to psychologist Brene Brown, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” Making yourself vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do. When we have lost our trust in others and ourselves, life becomes painful. Remember, trust is a choice, and if you don’t value yourself, it will be difficult to get others to value you. Without vulnerability, there can be no meaning in your life. Use mindfulness to practice vulnerability in small increments.
7. Accept and appreciate that things come and go.
Growing up, I struggled with abandonment issues. I grew up without my parents, and when they both transitioned, it created a disconnect within me that I had to heal. Traveling and living overseas allowed me to accept and appreciate what comes and goes because the people I met were nomadic. There were no guarantees that I would ever see them again, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t have deep connections with them at that moment. How can we practice appreciating and letting go of the things in our lives? Remember, everything in life is impermanent. The sooner we begin to accept this as a reality, the less suffering we’ll have in our lives.
Awareness of how we’re feeling is key to becoming more mindful. Mindfulness is not about reaching a goal. It’s about the practice itself. It’s a daily practice of showing up for ourselves and others while also being acutely aware of our thoughts and feelings. Then, we’re able to distinguish between the thoughts that serve us and those that don’t. Adapted by Elisha Goldenstein, a psychologist and author of the book The Now Effect, I hope these 7 practices will help support you on your journey towards mindfulness.
Which number would you start adapting into your life to begin practicing?0