Mindfulness Tips: daily mindfulness
Everyone who meditates will recognize it. An eagerness to have a daily mindfulness practice but it in day to day life it proved harder then you thought. We watch another inspiring YouTube-movie, talk to ourselves in a strict way (and punishing tone) or we start to ruminate (thinking) how to change the pattern. Nothing wrong with it but we often get stuck in it or even flee in it. Instead of actually meditate or doing a mindfulness exercise. I recognize it of course too.
Did you ever think, ’tomorrow I am really going to do it!’? Then the next morning the children are standing next to your bed (at 06.15!). Or you decide to just check one e-mail or WhatsApp message and not much later you are completely drawn in to it and you have to rush to work. Or you think ‘I really don’t feel like doing it right now and you decide to do it later. But often that ‘later’ doesn’t come. With some bad luck, the next week your good intention has faded away. But how does that happen? We will discuss this pattern, share mindfulness tips and also discuss how we CAN integrate mindfulness into our daily lives.
Reach out to your intrinsic motivation
Really feeling for a moment why mindfulness is important to you and remember a time you were doing it frequently. What did it gave you? Why do you even bother wanting to do? That intrinsic motivation is a much better long-term strategy than pushing yourself to carry on and ordering yourself that you ‘have to do it’.
Discipline alone is simply not enough. This might seem obvious, but I often see people who thought they ‘had to’ do meditation (and many other things in life). Almost like it was forced upon them. If you recognize this, quit! Go do something else, anything but meditating for a week, do the things you want to do and try to feel if meditation still has some added value for your life. If it does, make a kind plan which is realistic and do-able and then give it weight and try to stick to it.
Find your own way
Make sure you make your daily mindfulness and meditation practice your own, in your own way. If it’s not working for you to meditate every day (which is often recommended), allow yourself to start by meditating every workday or 3-4 times a week, or everyday but just a bit shorter (for example 5-10 minutes). Or you decide to do certain things with more attention: jogging, making tea or listening to your partner. Click here to learn 12 good tips for daily mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not a trick
Because mindfulness is so much more than only (daily) meditation. Like the founder of the Western mindfulness, Jon Kabat Zinn, often says: “the real meditation is how you lead your life” In other words, do you truly listen in a conversation, with what quality and attention do you do your job, how do you treat your loved ones and how do you handle setbacks? This is what it is all about, and meditation is only a tool to learn how to reach this.
But don’t forget that meditation is often very helpful (and often necessary) to train our ‘monkey minds’. I can’t see myself without meditation at the moment. Here a funny and clear movie about how to deal with our ‘monkey mind’.
I have to confess that I find myself in a contradicting problem. I have the tendency to over meditate. I have the tendency to strive too much and unconciensly try to reach a goal or a state of mind. Forgetting that it is all about letting go and nothing to be done, also in a meditation itself. Especially when you have been meditating for a longer period of time, getting too fanatic becomes an obstacle.
Finding happiness within ourselves
After all, happiness, fun and satisfaction do not arise from hard work; it is more wakened by a certain sense of relaxation in the moment. Letting go of the thought that something needs to happen, accepting that things are just the way they are. Then you will find happiness and enjoyment. We often run away from that what is (stress, fear in (work) relations or negative thoughts and emotions) but true happiness reveals itself when you dare to stand still at the moment and if you will unconditionally be there for yourself.
So stop finding happiness in other people and be brave enough to look inside. That is why I set up Beyond Mindfulness, to facilitate people in this challenging but also incredibly rewarding process. Good luck with your own journey and do share your experiences. Sharing helps to see that you are not alone, when it doesn’t go your way, and this helps to lower stress and anxiety. So be mindful in being mindful.