The link between practising Mindfulness and the documented benefits might seem a little esoteric, but here are examples of HOW it actually helped my life in one day… and made it go a bit more smoothly.
Being mindful of time
As a ‘late person’ I have a mild tredipation of being early, so usually I’m cutting it fine or slightly late, but as I had an appointment to get to, I really stayed present with the clock, and thus made my train on time!
Being in a different city from my home one, I noticed the ‘us and them’ mode my mind automatically went into. I stopped short of judging the judge too (berating myself for making these snap judgements), and merely noticed it and brought some curiosity to it. This remains one of my favourite insights on my Mindfulness journey – my unconscious judgements. As Socrates said ‘Know Yourself’ and Carl Jung's famous quote was 'Until you make the unconscious conscious it will direct your life and you will call it fate'. It all starts with awareness.
Several times I noticed I was on autopilot and living in thoughts of the the past or future, so shunted myself into the present by noticing what I was seeing, hearing and feeling right now, which helped me to enjoy this child-free time, the sights and sounds of a different city, and everything else this novel trip had to offer.
Breathing during appointment
The appointment, albeit not a scary one, was slightly invasive (in my ear), so I did some longer exhales, that kept my mind busy and calmed my system down. My go-to is 4, 7, 8 breathing. You can read more about this and experience a practice here.
Noticing another person's nerves
In the waiting room, rather than being absorbed my own thoughts, I noticed another patient who was evidently nervous. I chatted to her, and this connection before both of our appointments brought a smile to both our faces and hopefully made her feel more at ease. Connecting with another person in a friendsy way can be enough to stop our minds from focusing on worry.
Self compassion to do with weight
I took the opportunity to do some rare shopping; so rare in fact that my dress size had jumped up since last time! Rather than berating and hating, my self compassion practices kicked in, and I gave myself a break. As a consequence of this, and a timely message in a WhatsApp group, I subsequently decided to tackle this - NOT from a place of hate and disgust, but of acceptance and self love.
So this is just one day, but the skills I’ve learned help me every day in so many ways.
If you’re interested in learning Mindfulness – which I deem to be a set of skills rather that simply the practicing – please let me know.