This year has given us a lot of reason to be introspective and have some time to evaluate our values and who we want to be, what kind of impact we want on the world and how we’re aiming to achieve our “wants” into “actions”.
Since the start of the year I’ve been wanting to have a more mindful approach to the world and to myself; I’ve been aiming to value myself and the world around me with a better outlook and try to carefully consider my mental health.
So, what is the definition of mindfulness? Well a quick Google search will tell you:
“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
So being mindful isn’t necessarily your approach to other people or how kind and considerate you are, being mindful is all about the self. About you. Once I discovered this I couldn’t stop thinking about it, how can I be truly mindful then? So I went on a search and decided that a quick Google search wasn’t going to help me with my soul-search, I needed to start being mindful. Put what I’d learned into practice.
So what did I do?
My journey with mindfulness was all about overcoming my mental obstacles and winning the race with my anxieties. If there’s one thing that I already understood and was one hundred percent certain with it was what I wanted to gain out of this and who I wanted to become.
So, I quickly realised that mindfulness can be used to enrich all of the aspects of my life and began to think about what I loved doing most in the world and that’s where I’d begin to focus my mindfulness on. I chose three things to get me started:
- Being with my family
How I used mindfulness within my hobbies
I didn’t really know where to start with this so I once again headed to Google and searched for “How can I be mindful in photography” there was 53,200,000 results and it didn’t take me long to find my starting point and get an idea for how I can incorporate mindfulness into my most favourite hobby.
The one piece of advice that kept being shared was to be present with what I saw, I’d describe myself as being observant in every day life anyway which is why I think photography and I get along so well, but the piece of advice that stuck out to me the most was to have a destination in mind, but along the way become completely aware of my surroundings. I like this piece of advice the most because it also relieves the stress of needing to find something to get a photo of, if I already have a destination in mind for another objective, the pressure to snap is taken away, which also meant that I was able to get some pretty nice photos because I wasn’t really trying to. I became more aware of nature and the skyline, I took a liking to how the sun setting along the canal outside my flat hit the water, I thought it looked beautiful and snapped away, I felt completely in the moment as I could see time passing by.
I also became more aware of the scale of my area, in what is normally a 5 minute walk to the shops, I spent 30 minutes just exploring and finding a good shot. These photos, although not my best work and not something I’d publish, became something meaningful to me and I felt at peace, I felt good.
Normally when I say I love writing, I’m referring to this: my blog. I decided that writing something about being mindful wouldn’t be enough to make me feel at peace, content and happy. I wondered what I could do with writing that would give me a sense of release. Then it hit me: poetry.
I’m always aching for something new and creative to do, and in particular, something that can just be used to help me wind down, or at least open up. Poetry is one of the most beautiful art forms and I love reading other peoples poetry, writing my own, no matter how good or bad it is, about anything, served as a relaxing and calming time.
My poetry is by no means any good, but it helped me feel aware of who I am and what I’m trying to achieve. I felt happy, relaxed and ready to face the world.
Being with my family
When I’m with my family it’s the most in the moment I can be, I live on my own so when I’m with people I generally tend to want to pay my full attention to them, I feel like this is a short period of time in which I’m the most “me” other than when I’m alone, I feel comfortable and at peace and I feel completely secure.
How being more mindful has affected my day-to-day life
Ever since I decided that I was going to be a bit more mindful I’ve also been observing how my days have changed or been affected, I feel like overall I feel a lot happier and more optimistic, it’s made a huge difference as far as my personal mindset goes and I feel creative, motivated and inspired.
My positive affirmations; have they changed my days?
What is a positive affirmation
Affirmations are short positive statements which we create in order to help us focus on our goals, remind ourselves of our happiness and they help us to rid ourselves of negative beliefs.
Has this changed my days?
YES!!! If you don’t know how to come up with an affirmation for yourself, I suggest finding Instagram accounts which come up with them for you, you can pick and choose which ones you relate to the most each day and it helps your mindset tremendously. Every morning I find an affirmation that I like and I assign it to myself, some days I give myself a goal and other days I remind myself of the joys in my life. This helps me to stop focusing on the negatives and push myself to think more positively.
So, what now?
I’m going to try to keep up this routine; obviously since I initially wrote this the state of the world has changed dramatically and how I approach my mindfulness has had to shift too, I’ve been taking up meditative habits and have decided to keep my hobbies alive through other means, mostly Photoshop. If there’s a will, there’s a way!