Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Part 1)
Mindfulness is simply intentionally paying attention in the present moment without judgment. It’s maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our feelings, surrounding environment, thoughts and body sensations. It is acceptance our feelings and thoughts without judging them, without believing, for example, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to feel or think at a particular moment.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
Have you ever had one of those days where you perceived everything was going wrong? Was everything a problem? Could no one do anything right? You felt like a ball of intense energy without a release valve. Mindfulness helps us deal with stress, frustration, anxiety, our thoughts, and emotions. Mindfulness is about being gentle and kind to ourselves as well as others. Many people automatically associate mindfulness with Buddhist teachings, meditations, and yoga. When you drill down to the nuts and bolts of mindfulness, it applies to any religion and anyone who wishes to practice it.
If you’re ready to live a self-compassionate life filled with authentic happiness, love, joy, peace, and harmony but not quite ready to you’re not ready to dive into daily practices of mindfulness, start with understanding the seven essential attitudes of mindfulness. They are non-judging, beginner’s mind, patience, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go. Their definitions are below.
Non-Judging- The habit of categorizing and judging our experience locks us into mechanical reactions out of awareness. A non-judging attitude describes the impartial observation of our experience—not labeling thoughts, feelings, or sensations as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, but taking note of thoughts, feelings or sensations in each moment.
Beginner’s Mind allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and prevents us from getting stuck in the rut of our expertise. With curiosity, we see things as new and fresh, as if for the first time.
Patience is the wise attitude that reminds us that things unfold in their own time. Patient openness to each moment can be particularly helpful to invoke when the mind is agitated and wandering.
Trust is about trusting your intuition, your own inner goodness, your own wisdom, and your own authority, even if you make “mistakes” along the way
Non-Striving is the complete opposite of how we tend to live. Most of what we do is intended to get us somewhere, make progress, and improve. A non-striving attitude means not trying to get anywhere other than where we already are.
Acceptance is the embrace of the true, deep understanding of how things are. It is a pause, a period of allowing, of letting be or of seeing clearly.
Letting Go. The attitude of letting go is like a non-attachment to a person, place or thing.
Understanding the essential attitudes and how you relate to each of them is a great place to begin your mindfulness journey while continuing to research and develop your mindfulness practices. Intentionally applying the seven attitudes of mindfulness daily will change your life especially as it relates to how you perceive and react to life situations. You will begin to cultivate and experience joy, peace, and happiness for yourself as well as in others around you.
Marcelletta teaches others how to create harmony and balance in their lives, reduce stress, be fully present and enjoy authentic happiness. For more information on authentic self-care click here to join our free Self-Care for Nurses Facebook group: bit.ly/2rbAnOf.