If the thought of taking five minutes for yourself has you feeling guilty. And you always prioritise other things. That’s something you need to address.
Nothing should prevent you from taking time for yourself. And if you’re looking for something, that’s effective and easy. Mindfulness is one of the best ways to utilise your time.
There are many mindfulness exercises and meditations you can practise.
Mindful movement, guided meditation, mindful movement, they’re all beneficial.
Why is meditation so hard?
Many avoid silence due to discomfort, not boredom.
Because mindfulness allows your thoughts to become loud. It may bring up uncomfortable thoughts you don’t want to hear.
People go to great lengths to avoid being alone with their thoughts.
I read about an experiment where participants stayed in an empty room by themselves for 20 minutes. In this room was nothing except for a button which administered an electric shock.
A startling 68% of participants pressed the button, and not just once but several times over the 20-minute period. Rather than just be alone with their thoughts in silence, they would electrocute themselves.
Not surprising, considering it’s what people do when they’re drinking, smoking and drugs. Distraction themselves from thoughts and suppression of feelings. Both of which have latent repercussions.
How can I improve at mindfulness?
Being alone with my thoughts used to make me feel uncomfortable because there is no distracting yourself from them. And the silence only amplifies them.
Mindfulness tackles this head on.
When starting out with mindful movement, I’d get frustrated thinking it wasn’t working, or I wasn’t doing it right. I’d get lost in my thoughts and play them out like a mental movie. Realise what I’d done and return to my anchor (what I’m focusing on, i.e., my body or my breathing).
But when I understood that was the purpose of mindfulness it became more appealing. And looking back ‘why was I worried about that?’ I realise it was a fear of fear itself.
Over time, I’ve integrated it into my schedule. And the acknowledgement of these thoughts has become easier and they’ve become less frequent. As a result, my mental clarity has vastly improved. My mind is now quiet where it was once busy and noisy.
This is one of several practises I do for my calmness. If you’d like more information on how to achieve your equanimity, click here