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4 Ways Mindfulness Can Improve The Quality of Your Life

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what are the benefits of practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice which involves concentrating on the here and now without judging the present moment. Rather it encourages acceptance of whatever is happening while we avoid going over the past or worrying about what might happen in the future.

This technique, which sounds quite simple, but which actually requires a continuous commitment to develop can actually improve your quality of life over time. That sounds like a pretty big statement, but there is much scientific evidence to back it up.

Here are 4 ways mindfulness can improve your life:

1. Encourages peace of mind

Many studies have shown scientific evidence that mindfulness decreases stress, perhaps the biggest impediment to quality of life in the western world today. The process of focusing the mind on the present moment reduces one’s ability to enter into the stressful way of thinking that we are used to.

It can be difficult to train yourself to be mindful but with practice, it becomes an easier, more natural mode of being than our default stress-ridden state.

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

2. Assists in letting go

If you are prone to brooding over things you might have said or done then mindfulness can probably help you. Whether it is a small concern, such as Baby from Dirty Dancing regretting telling heart-throb Johnny that she ’carried a watermelon’ or something more serious such as worrying that a decision you made at work was warranted, ruminating the process of running events over and over in your mind never helps us to get any closer to a sense of closure on the topic.

In fact, it does the exact opposite, drawing us further and further into self-criticism. The practice of mindfulness meditation can involve placing all of your attention on a constant phenomenon, such as the breath. When you do this you have to let all other thoughts go, in doing so, over time you become adept at letting the little stressors go. 

 

3. Aids focus & concentration

As mentioned above, mindfulness meditation involves focusing on one particular thing and letting all other thoughts pass you by almost like a leaf being carried along on a river. While you let those thoughts pass you by, some of which may be extremely engaging, your power of focus is increased as you place all your attention on the breath or whatever focus point you are using.

Luckily, this benefit of mindfulness extends to the rest of our daily lives. Research has found that those who practice mindfulness have better focus and concentration levels. This comes in very handy in the late afternoon when we start to get tired and our minds start to wander.

“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

4. Improves decision making ability

If you are not stressed, have a clear, focused mind then surely decision making becomes easier.  Mindfulness can increase self-awareness as you notice more and more what thoughts draw you into negative thought patterns. We also learn to understand in greater detail how we respond to stressors.

Armed with this information and an ability to look at situations from a remove without getting caught up in the heat of the moment we can stand back and make the best decision for us without being negatively influenced by negative thought processes.

Do you practice mindfulness? What benefits have you noticed? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time, he enjoys traveling.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    Jun 21, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    David thank you for your article. I have found mindfulness and meditation to be very challenging. I find myself getting into a regular practice and then some event stops me for a few weeks then i get back on track again. I have also found some sessions really hard to focus. Having said that I am determined to get the four benefits you mentioned and I am going to keep trying.

  2. Shawn

    Jun 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I have been trying to practice mindfulness meditation.
    However, I feel sleepy after doing it in the morning.
    I tried to do it in the morning after I got up.
    Is this the right effect and should I continue with it?

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Life

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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