Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword these days. While it may be overused, its value in our lives can not be understated. The benefits of being more mindful can lead to happier, healthier, and more productive lives. To have a daily discipline of mindfulness in your life is a game-changer, and can it can create an upward spiral in confidence, joy, and level of performance.
In short, mindfulness is the ability to focus our attention solely on the present moment. When we live our lives in the past or in the future, we are living in a constant state of frustration, anxiety, stress, or depression. The reason? Because everything in the past or future is outside of our control. When we feel like we’re out of control, our mind’s best primal defense is to feel a state of fear. This is why anxiety, depression, stress, or anger set in. The solution? Live obsessively in the present moment as much as possible. Mindfulness is the practice by which we live in the present.
To become more mindful, and as a result become more self aware, serene, and primed to improve performance, you should focus on a few disciplines. The first is a simple task we do at all times, but we barely pay attention to it. In fact, often the only time we pay attention to it is when we’re forced to stop doing it completely! This activity is breathing, and you’re most likely doing it wrong. When we breathe shallow and fast, we’re not fully oxygenating our blood and removing toxins from our body. The result can be fatigue, stress, and heightened anxiety. Proper breathing both in and out of exercise can be a game changer. In the module below, we’ll give you some strategies to improve your breathing to stay present, and improve your health.
The second discipline for mindfulness is meditation. Meditation is the practice of bringing our attention from the distractions of life back to our breath, a mantra, our heartbeat, or any number of things that represent the present moment. In the pages below, we’ll give you advice on how to meditate, and if you join Extra Life, you’ll have access to a meditation for every day of the week (and then some).
Finally, we’ll dive into the practice of visualization. Within visualization, we practice a number of different scenarios within our mind as if they were happening at this moment. We go through worst case scenario, best case scenario, likely scenario, etc. in order to prepare ourselves for what to expect in a situation that is causing us concern or anxiety. Within this practice it’s important to affirm to ourselves that we are strong enough to succeed. Affirmation is the activity of repetitively reinforcing in ourselves what we are and what we want to become and imprinting it as a core belief. The more we reinforce these attributes, positive or negative, the more true they become in our minds. As perception becomes reality, so too do affirmations, if we allow our thoughts to guide our actions. The key thing is we must ACT.
If you are diligent in practicing some of these techniques on a daily basis for at least 10 minutes, you will begin to see significant improvements in your attitude, outlook, performance, and peace of mind. Make it part of your daily practice, and reap the rewards of living in the present!