You spend a lot of time on what you consider to be “improving yourself.”
Perhaps you’ve worked hard to complete a degree or training program. In your work, maybe there’s required professional development that you do to stay current in your field. In your personal life, you might practice a long time to master a musical instrument.
Yet, have you spent much effort on creating more self-awareness?
Do you feel that you truly accept yourself for who you are? Or, do you just keep pushing forward without a true understanding as to why?
You may find that mindfulness can help you put things in perspective.
Using Mindfulness to Slow Down
It’s hard to be self-aware when you’re constantly on the go. You feel like you are being pushed or pulled in different directions at lightning speed. Practicing mindfulness can help you slow down. For example, when you participate in a meditation session, you learn to slow down and focus on just what is happening in the here-and-now.
It can feel uneasy to experience at first. Yet, with time and practice, you will surprise yourself how much easier it is to slow down and take each moment as it comes. When that happens, you lay the groundwork for improved attention and more self-awareness.
Let Your Thoughts Flow
Are you the kind of person who thinks a million thoughts a minute? It can be overwhelming to have all those thoughts racing about. Mindfulness can help put more structure to your thoughts. Instead of forcing yourself to keep them at bay, practice letting your thoughts flow. However, the trick is not to let any-one thought dominate your thinking.
Instead, consider them like water. You drift from one thought to another, but they pass you by like leaves in a stream. This helps you acknowledge that you have these thoughts without anxiously dwelling on them.
Focusing on Yourself
When was the last time you focused on you? One of the great things about mindfulness is that it allows you to pay attention to yourself. This is more important than you may realize, especially in our modern world.
It seems as if there is always a deadline to meet, an agenda set on the calendar, or other obligation that we feel we must meet. One way to focus on you is to mindfully sit in a quiet space and use the “flowing thought” exercise above. Or, you could journal daily as a way to process your thoughts and responses. What’s critical is that you make the time to focus on you, not on all of the distractions and obligations that pull you away from yourself.
Allow Forgiveness Into Your Life
One part of mindfulness that is really liberating is forgiveness. You’ve probably heard how it helps to forgive others. Yet, have you ever really considered forgiving yourself? This doesn’t have to be for something you did “wrong.” You can simply forgive yourself for being angry at yourself for not accomplishing a goal. Or, beating yourself up over an event that happened years ago, but still seems to weigh you down.
Remember, we are all deserving of forgiveness. Offer it freely, especially to yourself. The beauty of mindfulness is that it allows you the space to open your heart and unburden your mind.
Accept Yourself for Who You Are
Practicing mindfulness also allows acceptance to come into your life. All of a sudden, the things you thought were flaws or negatives in your life don’t seem as bad. You can relax in your own skin. This is really liberating, as it means you no longer have to measure yourself against some superficial bar established by society. Instead, you can accept yourself and be OK with that too.
If you are struggling with self-acceptance and awareness, mindfulness really can be helpful. To practice mindfulness, you don’t need any equipment or tools. Nor, do you require any particular skill. You just need to be open to the experience. If you need help getting started, consider guidance from an experienced therapist. I’m here to help and happy to meet with you when you’re ready to improve the way you see and connect with yourself.