To practice mindfulness is to show up in the present moment as an observer, without judgment, to just experience and breathe. There is a long list of benefits of pursuing this activity:
→ Better memory
→ Improved relationships
→ Reduced depression and stress
→ Many physical benefits
With these benefits in mind, it may seem improbable that there would be a fear to becoming more mindful. However, there are several reasons why it’s easier to make excuses such as “I’m too busy” or “It’s too hard” in order to avoid a sincere effort at living a more mindful lifestyle. Let’s look at the top three reasons people fear mindfulness:
1. The mind is continually fighting to feel as if it is living your life for you and is afraid of giving up control.
You might find yourself thinking thoughts such as “Who would I be if I wasn’t always thinking?” If you can work through this fear, you will find YOU, the authentic you. Time will slow down and the world will become more vibrant.
2. You will see your life for what it is and you are afraid to let go of denial.
Perhaps your mind has tricked you into believing it’s more fun to pretend your problems don’t exist, or maybe you are active in an addiction. In the meantime, the problems get worse, eat at your self esteem and otherwise rob you of joy regardless of how you trick your mind from minute to minute into believing if you ignore them they will just go away.
Dare yourself to become mindful to what is unmanageable in your life, it’s not always fun and easy, it is always worth it when you can look in the mirror and know you are doing the right thing.
3. You are afraid if you aren’t always thinking that you won’t get things done.
That’s what To Do lists are for. In fact, when you clear your mind, you become more effective because you are better able to focus and your mind will have enhanced powers of recall. Give it a try. Take a few minutes to get every thought out of your head and down on paper until there is nothing left. Then, organize the paper and focus on what’s most important in a mindful way and see what happens.
While it’s true that your mind will have to surrender your life back to your higher self and you might find some ugly truths about your life that require your attention, you will also find a way of redefining your life in a way that works better for your health and wellbeing. You will begin to feel free and more empowered. Also, you will still be able to get things done, in fact you will become much more effective than you may currently think possible.
I challenge you to break through your fears and give mindfulness a sincere try. Give it two weeks, just to see how it begins to work out and feel for you.
Easy Mindfulness Tips
- Pay attention to what is happening in the present moment without judgment
- Allow your thoughts to drift, without attachment or judgment
- Allow your feelings to be noticed, without attachment or judgment
- Allow your senses of sight, sound, taste, and touch to come to life, without attachment or judgment
That’s it – basically – be here right now and just watch, don’t think about what you are experiencing, and just experience it. Set a timer to remind you to return to a mindful stance, or choose some other trigger to snap you back into the present moment. Be gentle, yet persistent and see how your life and your world opens up in brand new ways.
Download the Free Art of Meditation eBook to help you strengthen your mindfulness skills.