Mindfulness has been buzzing for years now, yet it shows no sign of slowing down. Every day, new articles, podcasts, and social media memes are shared about the benefits of mindfulness.
How do you get started? How do you make mindfulness part of your daily life?
Fortunately, integrating mindfulness into your daily routine is a lot easier than you think.
All you have to do is think of the word STOP.
Super easy. Super effective.
After completing a task, we encourage you to take a moment to practice mindfulness before diving into your next task.
Small pauses throughout the day help you create more awareness of your thoughts and emotions. When you're consciously aware of what's going on inside your mind, you're better equipped to make better decisions.
James Baraz, a founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, puts it into perspective:
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different: enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); and being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't).
Mindfulness is defined as "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something." In this case, you're aware of your own thoughts and actions, as well as a realization of your own awareness (otherwise known as metacognition).
Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, explains that "mindfulness teaches you to be present so that you can take appropriate action."
This concept is especially relevant in stressful or emotional situations that might normally cause us to react unfavorably. If you're completely aware of all your emotions and the reasons why you are feeling each of them, you're less likely to act without thinking and make spur of the moment decisions you might regret.
The next time you're feeling flustered or overwhelmed, take a deep breath pause for a moment. Make mental notes of what you feel and tie those feelings into the thoughts that caused them.
With the simple STOP breathing exercise, you'll learn how to be more present during the moment, allowing you to take appropriate action and transform the way you show up for yourself.