Our minds never stop working. Sometimes they can run on overdrive and affect our emotions, whether that’s happiness, stress, fear or sadness. Overthinking or allowing your mind to circle these negative thoughts can develop bad mental states, which is why it’s important to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice is of being present in the moment.
Staying focussed on what’s important to you at this very moment keeps your mental and physical states aligned.
Staying present is a powerful reminder to distance yourself from the mental chaos.
However, if you’re someone that looks ahead and anticipates what’s to come, mindfulness isn’t a skill that aims to deny or relinquish that habit.
Rather, mindfulness is a way to reduce potential stress, anxiety or depression in your life and relieve worrying or regretful thoughts.
Here are some ways to practice mindfulness and learn to better your start of mind.
Balancing the past, present and future
You wouldn’t be where you are today without learning from the mistakes and success of the past.
Personally, or professionally, it’s important to look back and see how far we’ve come to appreciate the wins and losses.
However, the fine art of practicing mindfulness is not to obsess over the past or future.
The delicate and healthy skill of mindfulness is to ensure thinking about what’s behind and in front of you, doesn’t affect your present and mental state.
The balance might be hard for some to achieve, but if you can find it then it could lead to a path of positivity and calmness in your life.
It’s okay to be nostalgic
Nostalgia is considered a joyous and wistful look at the world through memories and past experiences.
Long ago, however, nostalgia was rampant with conceptions of delusion, hysteria and madness.
The pleasantness of nostalgia serves as a sentimental psychological function to provide additional experience and meaning to the present.
We all learn from our past, which is why when something is bothering us in the present, we often reflect on what’s happened to us before.
It’s okay to look through old photos of a holiday or a great memory if you’re feeling down. Often you recall the same happy emotions from that time in your life and transfer them to the now.
Being nostalgic doesn’t mean retreating into the past; rather expanding off it, to lend a sense of control and continuity in the present.
Learning to stay in the present also means clearing your mind, body and soul of harmful distractions.
In this constantly online world, the distracting presence of digital screens and technology can be a detrimental force to distract from your mindfulness.
Limiting your media consumption and time online can do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing.
Capping your overall time on social media and dedicating specific hours to news and entertainment on digital devices grants you a large amount of time to stay focussed on the present.
The connection to technology and how it effects our brain is very real and can cause long-term damage.
If you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling, be sure to put the phone down and go do something constructive or worthy of your time.
Activities to practice mindfulness
Everyone will practice mindfulness in their own different and unique ways.
That’s the beauty of this mental health and wellbeing improvement tactic: there’s no one way of accomplishing it.
There are some quite helpful apps such as headspace and smiling mind, as well as online resources and podcasts.