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What is Mindfulness?
In 2019, a friend of mine was the director of an organization that provided mindfulness instruction within the corporate sector and educational system. She invited to me to one of her courses to become a certified mindfulness instructor. My response:
I accepted the offer and it turned out to be one of the most meaningful gifts I ever received. It changed my life.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the meaning of mindfulness and share FIVE simple mindfulness strategies that you can use to improve your overall well-being and change your life.
Manage Stress. Reduce Anxiety.
Mindfulness is a mental wellness practice that involves paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of kindness and gratitude. It is an ancient Buddhist practice, but its purpose has remained unchanged: to help people better manage stress, reduce anxiety, conquer fear, and cultivate a sense of contentment.
The goal of mindfulness is not to change your experience, but rather to be more aware of it and observe it without judgement. (Remember: judgement of anything at all is ultimately judgement of yourself). Becoming more aware of our thoughts and feelings can help us make better decisions, be more present in our day-to-day lives, and have more fulfilling relationships.
5 Tips for Getting Started
1. Affirmations: Listening to I Am Affirmations on your way to sleep is a powerful way to re-program your mind.
Start and end your day by practicing daily affirmations that will help you reduce anxiety and manage stress. Create mantras and positive affirmations that remind you that you can conquer fear and be in control of your mental health and your life’s course. My favorite spoken I AM Affirmations can be found on Jason Stephenson’s YouTube channel.
Twitter Tip: If you’re on Twitter, consider following Daily Mantras & Affirmations @dailymatras7
2. Meditation: I can recall a time in my life when doing any such thing was absolutely incomprehensible. Be inside my own head in complete stillness? No thanks! Now I crave that special time on a daily basis.
Meditation is a core component of mindfulness. However, if you find this difficult at first, start off with just two minutes at a time. This will help you exercise your ability to be present in the moment, rather than worrying about the past or future. Two minutes is only 120 seconds, about the same time we take to brush our teeth. Try mediating while brushing your teeth. Use your opposite hand to really help you be in the moment.
Everyone is different in respect to what works, so be sure to explore the many different options. I find guided meditations don’t help me relax. I’m trying too hard to follow the instructions and I get frustrated. As an alternative, I sit comfortably and listen to relaxing 432 hz music from Abundance Meditation on YouTube. It effectively and quickly draws me to inner peace and stillness.
3. Read books about mindfulness: To deepen your understanding of mindfulness, read books about the practice written by experts in the field. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your spiritual self.
I highly recommend “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. You don’t have to read either of these two recommendations from cover to cover. You can do what I did. Read a chapter here and there. The best part is you don’t have to commit to a large chunk of time. If you only have 3 minutes, then read for those 3 minutes.
Read it again from back to front and again front to back. Re-read the chapters after some time has lapsed as well.
I promise you this: they will bring new meaning and understanding each time you revisit them. These are not give-away books. They are gifts that keep on giving with each new level of understanding you gain in your journey.
3. Watch and/or listen to podcasts: Choose podcasts and videos that feature a wide range of inspiring and spiritually awakened guests. Program your mind with positive information as a form of entertainment and relaxation.
One of my favorite podcasters is Lewis Howes and his School of Greatness channel on YouTube. Lewis is a great interviewer and has exceptional guests on his show that have truly inspired me to adopt more positive mindsets while developing a deeper understanding of our existence on earth.
Shall we Chaga now or shall we Chaga later?
5. Get your Chaga on: Chaga mushroom tea is an ancient remedy that has recently become popular for its beneficial effects on mental wellness and mindfulness. Chaga mushroom tea has been used in Eastern cultures for centuries to reduce anxiety, manage stress, and conquer fear. It has also been used to support our “third eye,” a state of enhanced awareness that can be achieved through meditation and mindfulness practices. Chaga mushroom tea is a wonderful supplement to add to your practice.
Add honey for an extra helping of bliss.
In conclusion, mindfulness is referred to as a “practice” for good reason. It requires consistency and a curiosity to explore the many ways to experience inner peace.
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About the author
Rachel Dodds is a certified advisor in Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace with the Canadian Mental Health Association. In 2019, Rachel earned her certification in mindfulness instruction and facilitation from Mindfulness Without Borders. Her passions include practicing mindfulness as an effective approach to optimal mental health.