Mastering Mindfulness: Taking Control of Your Responses and Unlocking Your Happiness
A lot of what happens to us is out of our control. We can't control the weather; we can't control what our partners say to us; we can't control the traffic. My gosh, we can't control anything. Well, almost anything. The one thing we do have control of is how we respond to situations. This is not always the easiest assignment and takes practice and patience in order to respond intelligently instead of reacting. Reacting is the easiest way to retort. The hardest response is to watch your thoughts and not become pulled away by them. When a stimulus happens and we get triggered, it is similar to getting 'hooked' - hooked by an imaginary fishhook. When we are hooked like that largemouth bass, we automatically react in an unfavorable way. We might say something that we can't come back from. We may yell. We might even hurt someone. However, we can get out of this phase. It is possible to improve our self-control.
This is what mindfulness and mindfulness meditation accomplish. "Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose to the present moment," according to Jon Kabat-Zinn. What meditation does is allow us to view our thoughts from a distance. Imagine a camera being placed in your head, and you are totally immersed in your thoughts. What meditation does is it zooms out. Now imagine the camera viewing yourself from behind your head. You are now able to watch your thoughts and not get carried away by them. You watch the thought cloud float by without grasping onto it. We gently let it pass while being kind to ourselves.
However, our thoughts seem so real and scary. When we get a negative thought, how are we supposed to not react? Well, start by realizing it is just a thought. This thought can't hurt you, nor will it stay in that brain of yours forever. Most of our thoughts are fake news. We have F.E.A.R., also known as False Evidence Appearing Real. Sitting with our thoughts is the magic that begins our healing journey. When we cultivate a greater sense of awareness, acceptance, and compassion toward oneself and one's experience, we heal. When we are more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, our awareness can help us understand and accept our experiences rather than reacting to them in a negative way.
Awareness is really the key to it all. When we have developed our awareness, we can realize the changes that need to be made and then correct them. Changing is a challenge within itself, but just noticing is the first step. You can't answer a question without the question.
So, what is your question? What questions and concerns are you thinking about that make you resistant to change? Most of those ideals that you know you need to change. The weight off your shoulders and the joy when you imagine completing them. Directing our attention towards pursuing those aspirations is precisely where our focus should lie. When we have a handle on this, we have a handle on our life. Our resistance to these changes we instinctively know will change our lives is the missing key that unlocks our happiness.
So, dive towards your aspirations with mindful awareness. Use your higher intelligence to guide your ship and know that those aspirations that nag you are exactly the same ones that will set you free.
Be you. Do you.
TLDR - Key Points:
- Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment.
- It helps in responding intelligently instead of reacting impulsively.
- Mindfulness cultivates awareness, acceptance, and compassion.
- By practicing mindfulness, you can unleash your potential for a happier and more fulfilling life.
- Benefits of mindfulness include improved emotional well-being, self-awareness, and stress reduction.