The Right Attitude For Mindfulness

One of the most important factors that will influence whether mindfulness will work for you is your attitude. If you believe mindfulness is hard work and takes too much effort then you will not see the real benefits it has to offer you. Once you understand how easy mindfulness actually is and realise that even when you do make mistakes being mindful allows you to let them go your attitude will likely change.

When it comes to your attitude to your mindfulness practice the easiest attitude to probably aim for is a neutral attitude of neither good or bad. Instead an attitude of acceptance and acknowledgement is preferred, you will be as good as you can be at practicing your mindfulness and understanding that you are doing your best and this is acceptable.  Getting frustrated and annoyed when your mind wanders will cause you focus less on your mindfulness and just make it harder. Instead, accept that this happens to everyone and is just part of the process. Remember, any amount of mindful thought is more than you were doing before and is having a benefit.

IF YOU CHANGE
THE WAY YOU
LOOK AT THINGS,
THE THINGS YOU
LOOK AT CHANGE.
WAYNE DYER

Mindfulness is about experiencing the present moment as much as possible and even if you feel currently that you are becoming annoyed because of a wandering mind or outside source is interfering with your focus, you are being mindful as you are noticing how you feel right now.

If you can’t focus and your mind keeps returning to the same thoughts you have an opportunity to use mindfulness to investigate these thoughts further and why you are thinking them right now. Are they based on something you know to be true or is your mind telling you stories? Are these thoughts making you feel something right now? What is that feeling? Are you experiencing emotions in your body at the moment? In your mind ask yourself similar mindful questions which will help bring you into a more mindful frame of mind and will probably help stop the thought cycle you were previously in allowing you to focus better on your mindful practice.

As with asking the questions of yourself above, curiosity is the easiest way to become more mindful. The act of being curious causes you to use your senses or mind better understand something is in itself being mindful. Whether that be just looking closer at something, listening more intently or thinking about something to understand it better. If you investigate more you will automatically become more mindful, realising this alone will help your attitude. You can use curiosity to be more mindful while performing daily tasks like brushing your teeth or having a shower. Can you really taste the minty flavour and the texture of your toothpaste. While showering, feel the temperature of the water on different parts of your body, try to smell the scents and aromas of your shower gel and shampoo.

Another way to help with your attitude is to practice letting go of any negative emotions, feelings or thoughts about your mindfulness practice. Use your curiosity to investigate what negative emotions you experience when you practice mindfulness, observe them as the play out and try to understand why you are experiencing them right now. Once you’ve done this, allow yourself to let those emotions run their course and start using the same technique to analyse related feelings and thoughts. Keep working through these and keep letting go until you get to the source of what you are experiencing, you will almost definitely find its not related to your actual mindfulness practice and realise this whole process was mindful itself.

John Burley

John Burley lives in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and is the author of Mindfulness for the Mindless due for publication on 2nd April 2018. He is also the director of a software development company producing software solutions to mainly the gaming industry. He blogs about mindfulness at www.amindfulway.blog which has a growing following both on the blog itself, the accompanying Android app and on social media too.

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