By Georgiana Baileh
Mindfulness comes with great mental and physical health benefits. Several studies have shown that mindfulness reduces rumination and stress while improving focus and working memory. When you become a more mindful person your emotional reactivity to upsetting events decreases, and your relationship satisfaction with others increases. Mindfulness has also been shown to increase immune functioning.
Trying to become a more mindful person may sound daunting, perhaps overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Mindfulness is a lot simpler to achieve than you may think.
Try these 5 powerful steps to become a more mindful person.
1. Practice self-awareness
Research has shown that self-awareness is crucial for success in all aspects of our lives, and it is especially important in the process of becoming more mindful. So begin by reflecting on the story of your life, from childhood to the present moment. You can do this by writing down, or just thinking about the people, events and experiences that have had the greatest positive, or negative, impact on you.
Learn as much as you can about what shaped the person you are today. In doing so, you will be able to let go of labels that you’ve placed on yourself, or that others might have assigned to you. Letting go of labels is crucial since we tend to allow these labels to dictate who we are.
Remember, the more you practice self-awareness, the better you get at it. Your goal should be to turn your practice into a daily habit in order to become a more mindful person.
2. Accept yourself and others
While you work on gaining self-awareness you must acknowledge and accept that certain things will never change. You can rewrite history, but you can’t change it, so you have to be willing to accept it. Therefore, come to terms with your life story. Remind yourself that you have control of the present, and you have the power to shape your future.
Be prepared to accept the fact that you can’t control another person’s behavior, and if you put your well being in someone else’s hands you are bound to be disappointed. This is the step where you take matters into your own hands. At the same time, be willing to accept different points of view, and stay open to new information.
3. Learn emotional self-regulation
Emotional self-regulation means being able to manage and monitor our emotions and behavior. In an ideal situation, we learn emotional self-regulation when we are children, and continue to refine it into adulthood. However, some of us are not made aware of it in our childhood. Instead, we must acquire and hone this skill as adults.
The best way to learn emotional self-regulation is to pay attention to your emotions and define them. Allow yourself to feel them, but be aware of how you express them. Also, try to become more observant of other people’s emotions so you will be better prepared for an appropriate emotional response. This is a skill that needs lifelong practice given how volatile emotions can be, but you begin to reap the benefits of your practice as soon as you start.
4. Strive for positive thinking
Condition your mind to think positively by emphasizing positive little things throughout your day. You can do that by pointing out your tiniest daily victories. It could be the tasks you’ve completed, how you were of assistance to others, or the time you exerted self-control by making a good choice. Pay close attention to the good moments, people and things in your life, and express gratitude for them.
Most importantly, be OK with failing sometimes as we all do. Praise yourself for your achievements, and learn from your disappointments. It might also be helpful to remind yourself of all the difficulties you’ve overcome in the past, and how, if you keep trying, everything gets easier and better with time.
5. Savor the good times
When you think of the good times you’re probably thinking of the fun vacation you had last year, or an awesome party you attended, which is great. However, the goal is to savor the good times everyday. You can do so by holding onto the positive thoughts and emotions we have throughout any given day. It could be the delicious meal you had, a warm smile you received, or a moment of kindness. Remember how fast time goes by, and even if today wasn’t great, tomorrow can be better.
Yes, it takes time to become a more mindful person. However, if you take the necessary steps to move through lifeless mindlessly you begin to see results immediately. This should serve as your motivation to stay on the path to mindfulness.
Do you practice mindfulness? Leave a comment and tell us how.
Previously published on Inspoplace.com.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com