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5 Simple Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Your Life… Right Now

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“If you want real control, drop the illusion of control; Let life have you. It does anyway.” - Byron Katie, U.S. author

We all believe we are somehow in control of our own destiny, that we even play a part in the destiny of others when that’s so clearly not always the case. Just ask the man who got laid off in the last economic downturn, the mother whose child is being bullied at school, or even the self-medicating opioid user, now a full-blown addict.

It’s the illusion of control.

My name’s Andy, and, just over 10 years ago, I heard someone say something that made a deep impression on me. I actually wrote it down in the journal, I was keeping at the time, in the alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation center I was being treated at the time:

“The past is the past - you can’t go back and change it, even if you wanted to.
You certainly can’t live in it. The future can’t be predicted, however hard we try to do so.
And you can’t live in that either. So what’s left? Think about it. What’s left?”

The words were spoken by a professional friend of our yoga instructor. He taught the art of mindfulness, which has become an important factor in why, for the last 10 years since leaving rehab, I have managed and continue to lead a clean and sober life. For those unfamiliar with the concept of mindfulness, it can be described as:

“The psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment.”

If you had asked me all those years ago if I would remain clean and sober to this day by simply living more at the moment, I would have probably tried (and failed) to be clever and said something like “Addicts know how to live in the moment - the moment we get the next hit, the instant we steal a fifth a bourbon or the second we pass out.” 

No, we can’t control everything (the addict’s delusion, for sure), but we do feel and we do experience.

We need to learn to accept these things.

I have done, finally, and that’s the premise for writing this - an article about how you can bring mindfulness into your life with just 5 simple ways to do so - right now.

There is also significant research to suggest that mindfulness can actually alter the physical structure of your brain - it does this by engaging parts of the brain not used when we are running around on our usual kind of autopilot.

5 Simple Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Your Life… Right Now

1. Time

Time is regarded by many as a very precious commodity in our tech-driven, personal worlds.

So, taking that into consideration, choose a part of your day when interruptions and routine can take a backseat - in fact, a time when the whole world can take a backseat, and just get on without you for a change.

The very essence of mindfulness is learning to change your conditioned responses to what you feel inside and what is around you. 

You really do need the time and the space to do this properly, and so, successfully. So switch off that bloody cell phone.

Featured in the article: "5 Simple Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Your Life… Right Now". The only time is NOW (right now).

2. Right Here, Right Now

Mindfulness is about one simple thing - paying attention to the right now, without (and this is the part most people find the trickiest) passing judgment on ourselves. It is certainly not about controlling our minds to think in a certain way, as some believe.

Furthermore, you will never achieve a calmness that is present every moment of every day - that’s a fact.

However, by paying attention to the right now, mindfulness teaches us to experience fully and acknowledge our feelings of each moment, whether we feel calm or not.

3. Returning To The Moment

We are people. That’s just a polite way of saying we are a species known as humans from the animal genus homo.

As humans, we think, and, inevitably, our minds wander, touching on subjects seemingly random most of the time. In other words, we day-dream, we fantasize, even.

Don’t get too annoyed with yourself when this happens during your practice of mindfulness because it will.

Allowing these self-judgments to be acknowledged and then released is what this practice is all about. 

Just keep returning yourself to the present moment. It’s called practice for a reason.

Featured in the article: "5 Simple Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Your Life… Right Now". Girl meditating, practice, training

4. Self-judgment

Now that the subjects of self-judgment and human nature have been aired, let’s get something clear for you: Many things have occurred in all of our lives up to the here and now. Some didn’t go well, and of those, some were our fault and our responsibility, and some weren’t.

We judge ourselves on those, regardless. It’s human nature to do so.

The real secret of mindfulness is noticing those judgments, considering them, and then simply letting them go. 

It sounds easy, but it’s not. This is the only difficult part, and it comes with practice.

5. Be Kind, Be Generous

When I became a person leading a clean and sober life, I became aware of a whole host of changes - in my character, my sociability, my outlook (being mindful doesn’t stop you having an outlook), and my thinking.

I noticed this, too - I became a kind and generous person - not just to others where I could, but to myself. Me. This was somewhat of a revelation, believe me.

The chicken and the egg. Did beginning my practice of mindfulness make me so, or did the lack of substances to abuse make me more of who I really was, a kinder, more generous person, and that, in turn, made being mindful more successful for me? My view?

I have no idea. However, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, for sure.

I’m now a far better version of myself - consider it accepted.

Recognize that your mind goes for a mental walk now and then. Bring it back to the moment. In other words, don’t beat yourself up for being a sentient human being - be generous and kind towards yourself. Always.

Wrapping Up

The 5 simple ways to bring mindfulness into your life: give yourself the time, be in the moment, always come back to it, acknowledge self-judgments, and be kind and generous to yourself.

Have you any thoughts on the subject of mindfulness? Please feel free to leave a comment below. Your comments are valued. One last thing… Just breathe.

Are you ready to embrace mindfulness and bring it to your life?
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Hi, my name is Andy! I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Los Angeles, California.
I spend my time helping others with their recovery and growing my online business.

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