Welcome back from Chinese New Year holidays!
We continue from our last blog about the powers of mindfulness. Hopefully, you are now convinced of its usefulness in your life. I’m sure spending Chinese New Years with your family has given you plenty of opportunities to practice mindfulness; especially when handling provocative questions from family members on the status of your love life!
So, let’s get started.
The training tool we will use to become more mindful is meditation.
The approach that Olive Branch takes on meditation is a secular (not religious), no-bullshit form of meditation.
Rest assured, we are not preaching to convert anyone to any cult or practice that promotes any particular system of faith or worship.
You simply sit still, close your eyes and try not to think of anything.
Nothing at all.
Sounds simple, yes – but not easy.
When you’re actively trying to clear the mind, the mind has a way of reminding you of all the tasks that you haven’t completed yet. It also likes to follow that up by listing all your flaws and weaknesses in your character and why you will fail at stuff.
Now, before you throw your hands up in the air and give up on meditation, take a deep breath and draw the air down into your lungs. Wipe clear the mind and start over.
This is exactly the point of meditation.
Getting carried away by your inner dialogue is inevitable, especially when you are starting off. But then to realize it, and to bring your attention back to nothingness is the exercise!
This is equivalent to doing a 1 rep push-up for your mind!
Each and every time your attention gets hijacked, take note of it non-judgmentally, gently let go of the thought and repeat the whole process again.
By doing this relatively simple action, you are training your mind to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. By taking a non-judgmental attitude on those thoughts and emotions, you can actually tweeze apart the emotions from the thought.
You can then analyze it. Does that thought have any merit? Is it worth exploring, or is it completely distracting and destructive. You can also dig back on how that thought came about.Meditation is simply practice time for your mind; so you train yourself to catch your narrative mind taking off on you without your permission.
Your day-to-day life in the city has so many distractions and noise that are constantly bombarding you. But now, you will have a defense – a buffer. It’s the ability to stay present and focused on being a happier, more productive person.
Mindfulness is mental well-being – which is just well-being. It may not have gotten the same amount of headlines as fitness and nutrition, but we believe it is going to be a big deal.
It’s a superpower.
Train your mind like how you train your body and you will be awesome.
For more information, check out these sources:
Does meditation keep emotional brain in check?
One Skeptical Scientist’s Mindfulness Journey
Don’t try to be mindful | Daron Larson | TEDxColumbus