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A Step-By-Step Guide To Achieving Mindfulness

A Step-By-Step Guide To Achieving Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about an appreciation for the present moment, examining who we are, and cultivating a sense of unity with ourselves and the world around us. Many try to adopt a mindful lifestyle in order to reduce stress and maintain a sense of self and peace amidst a busy and hectic schedule.

By introducing some practices and routines into your life, you can improve your awareness and get into the habit of understanding your own mind and how it influences your perceptions and actions. Here are a few of the practices that you should consider picking up.

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Practice Yoga

Yoga is a great practice for slowing down and turning inside yourself. This is why focusing on the breath is such an important element, as it brings our attention to what is happening in the moment, and away from all the other distractions in life. Try a new yoga pose every day to bring new energy and awareness to different parts of your body, while also focusing on the body as a whole. You can also use these techniques to help cope with uncomfortable sensations during challenging positions.

Practicing mindfulness on the mat will make it easier for this state of mind to start flowing into other activities. As a result, distractions and conflicts in life will become easier to overcome.

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Turn Chores Into Rituals

Daily tasks that we often think of as mundane can become dreaded chores or burdens. While cleaning the house or doing yard work, we try to escape those present moments by thinking of what we’d rather be doing or like to do later. Instead, these tasks should be treated more ritualistically.

When scrubbing, sweeping, or dusting, focus on the repetitive, rhythmic motion of your hands. Also, be attentive to the results of your actions and take joy in watching the dirt, dust, and debri lift due to your efforts. Happiness is always available in our lives, practice finding it in these conditions.

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Take In Life’s Details

Take time to recognize all the beauty or details in the present moment, and try to do this daily. If you go on a walk, don’t immediately plug in your earbuds and power walk down the street. Take notice of all the colors of leaves during fall, and how the sun hits them, or the new buds and blooms during spring. Feel the cool or warm air on your skin, and soak up all the sensations being offered to you in that moment. No matter what time of year, the moon and stars serve as great inspiration for thoughtful gazing and dwelling in your own present moment of space and time.

Try Walking Meditation

Don’t be intimidated by meditation by assuming that it’s only for monks and Buddhists with years of training in mental discipline. There exist many forms of meditation, and any amount of time will benefit you — especially if done daily.

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Try walking meditation by just focusing on your steps and the earth beneath you, letting go of all other thoughts and judgements. When interfering thoughts creep in, acknowledge them and let them go by bringing your attention back to your steps. When we have moments of anger, frustration, or impatience in life, we can return to a meditative state of mind by observing our emotions instead of feeding them.

Make An Altar

You can make an altar anywhere in your home to serve as reminder or source of inspiration to help you keep a present state of mind. You can use the top of a dresser, a shelf, or table to place candles, photos, statues, words of inspiration, or bells. Use your alter as a place to collect your thoughts and have a moment of contemplation at the beginning or end of each day.

When we’re out of touch with ourselves, we lose sight of our full potential. Our actions and thought process become mechanical, like knee-jerk reactions that we’ve been conditioned to. To release yourself from these patterns, keep practicing these mindful activities. Over time, mindfulness will become your natural way of being.

Featured photo credit: Yoga Master/Nathan Rupert via flic.kr

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Bethany Cleg

Photographer, Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on May 17, 2019

This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.

But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.

What Is the Comfort Zone?

The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”

What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?

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The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. You will be scared

Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.

So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.

That’s what separates winners from losers.

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2. You will fail

Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.

That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …

3. You will learn

Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.

4. You will see yourself in a different way

Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.

Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.

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5. Your peers will see you in a different way

Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.

But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.

The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.

6. Your comfort zone will expand

The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.

This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

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7. You will increase your concentration and focus

When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.

But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.

8. You will develop new skills

Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.

Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.

9. You will achieve more than before

With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.

Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.

Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com

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