“The dog needs his new flea medicine”… “The kitchen sink is overflowing with dishes”… “I have to submit the form today”… “Mom hasn’t been doing well; I need to call her after work and check in”… “Do I have enough gas in the tank to run to the grocery store?” We’re all familiar with this type of internal dialogue, but how can your mind possibly focus and do anything well when it’s filled with all this clutter?
How Practicing Mindfulness Can Help You Achieve More In Life
It doesn’t matter what goal you have in mind, if your brain is constantly filled with noise, you can’t possibly be focused enough to do anything to the best of your ability. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and the more you engage in focused practice, the easier it will be to accomplish in your everyday life.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Before you can use mindfulness to help you achieve your goals, you obviously need to know what mindfulness is and how to practice it. There is no one right way to practice mindfulness, but the overall purpose is to stop and focus only on what is happening in the present moment. Forget the dog, the dishes, and the gas. For a really quick mindfulness practice, you can stop what you’re doing and think about your body, and only your body, from head to toe. Move through each body part and consciously be aware of it; some things you may become aware of: the pace of your breath, the comfort (or discomfort) of your body, or the temperature of the room. There are many mindfulness exercises you can try, but just doing that exercise can help you to quickly become more aware of and immersed in the present moment.
This process seems relatively simple, so how can practicing mindfulness help you achieve your goals? Following are just some of the benefits of mindfulness: decreased stress, improved health, better sleep, decreased depression, improved employee performance, improved social functioning, and increased neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to adapt). Whether you goal is to be a better parent, get a promotion, make more money, or simply be happier, it’s easy to see how mindfulness can help with any goal.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot
When you’re fully immersed in the moment, it becomes so much easier to focus on what you are trying to accomplish. Take, for example, the goal of being a better parent. A parent not practicing mindfulness might play with their daughter, all the while watching TV, checking their phone, responding to an email, and stressing about their deadline at work. A parent practicing mindfulness, however, will be fully immersed in the play with their daughter. There are no distractions and that parent can notice the playful lilt in their daughter’s voice when she pretends to be a mom to her dolls, and that child won’t need to repeatedly say “mom” to pull her parent away from the distractions and back into play.
Mindfulness seems simple, but in the fast paced world we live in, it can actually be really difficult. The more you practice, the easier it will become and the better you’ll be able to focus on achieving your goals. If you’re wasting time focusing energy on things you can’t control, you’re not getting any closer to accomplishing your goals. When you truly focus on the present moment and what you can do right now to make your goal a reality, you become fully immersed in whatever you’re trying to accomplish.