Much of your unhappiness and suffering will be caused by your being consumed by your own mind.
Your mind is so powerful it can and often does project you into the future, where you’re worrying or trying to control what can’t necessarily be controlled, or you’re in the past ruminating, and beating yourself up about events which can’t be changed.
Neither are healthy states of mind and cause you great torment, which in turn lead to a state of unhappiness.
Symptoms of unhappiness are anxiety, depression, over eating, under eating, drinking too much alcohol, taking drugs etc. You get the picture.
Be Present by Using Your Senses
Being present in the moment by practicing mindfulness can stop this torment, and help you change your life. Part of the practice of mindfulness is to learn how to focus your mind in the present moment. This can be done in many ways through the experience of your senses.
This directly links your awareness into your body and has an instant grounding effect which helps stabilise you during times of stress or emotional turmoil.
Without the practice of mindfulness your mind is left to wander by itself, getting consumed by often tyrannical, bullying thoughts of self-judgement and self-criticism.
A Regular Practice Frees You
A regular practice not only frees you from the confines of your own torment, it also helps you build a stable emotional resilience to life’s ever flowing, often stressful, unavoidable events such as changing jobs or moving house.
By freeing yourself from this torment you can live a calmer, happier life.
However, It’s called a practice for a reason. If you want to integrate mindfulness into your life and change the state of your mind, then you’ll have to build a regular consistent practice which integrates and weaves in to your lifestyle.
To get started in understanding this life changing practice, below is a simple exercise in focusing the mind on an everyday object.
Please note this exercise is a very basic introduction and example to what mindfulness involves, however it’s a great place to start.
- Sitting down at a table with an every-day object in front of you – for example a cup or glass
- Look closely at the object for a few minutes taking in everything about it you can see without touching or moving it. Just think about what it looks like without judging it
- Focus on your sensations. Remaining still, close your eyes and focus your awareness on feeling any physical sensations in your body. i.e. your skin touching your clothes or bottom touching the chair
- Spend a few minutes on focusing your mind on what you can hear. It may just be the sound of your own breathing, or a car passing by or bird in your garden.
- Look back on what you’ve just experienced. By focusing on an object and tuning into your senses, touch, hearing and sight, you’ve given yourself a break from your mind being caught up in your worries and preoccupations.
Over time this simple practice can be a huge source of mental refreshment and healing.
If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness and how it can help you live a happier healthier life, you can sign up for my new program ‘Live with Passionate Presence’ a 10-day audio program designed to introduce you to mindfulness and self-compassion. You can sign up for this at www.aimee-leigh.com or you can join my free face book community She Can
Have It All here.