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How to Use Mindfulness: A Simple and Effective Practice That Don't Worry Isn't Meditation

A large tree beside an old country road that is surrounded by fields of wonderful crops

So, most of you have heard about mindfulness.  It’s become a buzzword during the past few years.  And I, your wannabe positive expert, am so glad it has the attention it has gotten.  It has been something that has made a difference in how people handle different negative emotions. It has also changed how people learn to be nonjudgmental about those emotions. 

You may be asking how this helps me and others with these two things.  Well, I am about to tell you, because I like helping you become more relaxed and less consumed by emotions that create frustration with negative emotions.  I would say it’s a passion of mine, but I am pretty sure you are aware of that by now. 

But joking aside, mindfulness is a great thing to add to your repertoire of positivity tools.  And yes, it is a tool.  It can be used as many times during the day as you want.

You might be wondering how you can use this tool

a painting of a woman in a white dress and hate sitting near a big tree reading a book

many times as you want. Because you might think that meditation is the only form of mindfulness, but that is not true.  You can find mindfulness in many ways.  But I am going to focus on just one today.  That thing happens to be observation. 

Many of you might not have heard of this type of mindfulness but it is an awesome way to bring yourself into the present moment with ease.  You might be saying, “Mrs. Tea, I can’t ever find the present moment.  I am always stuck in the future or the past” or “I don’t understand how to get into the present moment.  No one ever explains it right.” And I truly understand how some people find it hard.  And sometimes what works for one person doesn’t work for others.  I guess it is the same with anything we learn.  We all learn at different paces and in different ways.  Well, I, your wannabe positivity expert, want to share an easy way to bring yourself into the present moment without it being a worrisome process.  And while I have you might love the way I am teaching you today, it might not resonate with someone else.  I promise to bring many different ways to do each tool throughout my time making positivity come to life in your world.

I felt all the frustration many people feel with mindfulness and meditation too.  It wasn’t long ago that I learned how to use my breath to calm my mind, body, and soul.  But this technique was so much easier for me to learn and utilize first because I could remember to use it quicker.  It was also an easy way that I was willing to keep up with.  Meditation was a hard thing to wrap my mind around and I ended up fighting it for a while. 

I know you are screaming at me to tell you the technique already. So I am going to get on with the show as they say. 

My technique is to observe.  You might be thinking, “How in the world will that help?”  Have you ever stopped to smell a flower, and suddenly everything but its smell disappeared?  Have you ever stopped to look at a painting and all of a sudden your whole world is captured by the brush strokes or the color choices? 

A woman sitting in a conservatory full of pansies, snap dragons, roses and lilies just thinking.

I know that tons of things make the rest of the world disappear for me.  I have been reading a book and didn’t hear the phone ring.  I have been in my grandma’s flower gardens (yes, plural) and just got caught up in all the different shapes and ways the petals looked.  I have also found when I am doing a yoga pose trying to balance, I focus on a place on the wall and drift off.

I bet you all have experiences like this one. 

So, you might wonder how this can be used to become mindful in a normal, random moment.  Well, here is the answer.

I would like you to take a moment and find 5 things you see, 5 five things you hear, five things you can touch, and 1 thing you can smell.  When you do all those things you are coming in your body and mind.  “How?”, you ask.  By focusing on just those things.  You aren’t focusing on why you are nervous, mad, or sad.  You are grounding yourself in the present moment. 

How did it feel?  Now you might have to do this a few times for it to be perfect or you might not feel as perfect as you would like.  But did you feel a difference in that moment?  Did you stop thinking about other things for that one moment?  Could you do this again later?

You are probably beginning to think differently about mindfulness even if you aren’t into this particular way to get mindful and into the present moment. 

By changing your perspective toward things outside of your mind and body, you are changing what you are focusing on.  You are stopping the overwhelming thoughts you are currently focusing on and making those completely disappear.  And those things that I am suggesting you focus on instead are neutral.  They can have no meaning in the moment.  They are just things your senses are observing.  Nothing more. 

a large pink rose set in front of weathered paper.  The word mindful is in the bottom right and it is blue

Now I promise to write future posts on more in-depth ways to help yourself become mindful, but this is in my opinion the easiest to do.  And don’t worry if you drift back into the negative thoughts the first time.  Sometimes you have to redirect your mind back into the process.  But if you practice this you will get better at it each time.  You will also notice when you are drifting away from your senses.  Then you will be able to go right back to grounding yourself. 

Now, if you are in a pretty bare place, you can always imagine the things in your mind.  And if you want you can add the sense of taste into the mix with a raisin, chocolate piece, or something else small.  You can use your sense of touch and smell to those too. 

As I start to sign off with our chat, I want you to do something.  Why don’t you put in the comments the absolute best thing you found with your senses?  I have a great one to put on Instagram sometime this week that is happening right now.  So, go ahead and share.  And comment on the best ones you see in the comments from other people. 

But remember this is a family of deer that love each other, so don’t be inconsiderate in any way.  You never know, a person out there might pick a cockroach because he studies them for work so they are his livelihood.  Or maybe fruitcake isn’t your thing and someone puts in the comments that they love Aunt Mary’s fruitcakes' smell.  Now we never opened Aunt Mary’s fruitcake so I wouldn’t know.  The apples and oranges were way better.  Hahahaha.  (Sorry, Aunt Mary)

fruitcake on a table decorated for Christmas with other fruits around it

Now go.  Be safe.  And know that you are not alone. (Never ever!)


 PS. Aunt Mary's fruitcake never looked this good. hahahaha

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