The Benefits of Mindfulness | Why You Can’t Live Without It
I tried doing a Google search for the definition of ‘mindfulness’ and lots of results showed up. Apparently, there are many definitions and many benefits associated with mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a word and idea that’s making its way around our modern-day culture. It’s often connected to the practice of meditation and to becoming aware of our own thoughts and feelings.
Merriam-Webster lists some synonyms of ‘mindful,’ including aware, conscious, and alive.
Since I’m writing a whole post about why we can’t live without being mindful, I was kind of excited to see ‘alive’ on the list of synonyms. (Maybe I’m on to something after all.)
But I especially like the definition of mindfulness that comes from mindful.com: “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing…”
This is the kind of mindfulness I think we can’t live without. There are many reasons, but I’ll share the most important ones with you. And maybe it will inspire you to think about being more mindful.
Mindfulness is What Connects Us
Too often in life we are just mindlessly going through the motions. Trying to keep up with life or get ahead. Maybe trying to get through another hard day. Or just lost in the routine.
Mindfulness is what connects us to life and the people around us. It reminds us of the ‘why.’ Staying connected is one of the biggest benefits of mindfulness.
If we aren’t being mindful, we lose that connection.
We keep interacting with the people around us but don’t actually connect emotionally. We go after our next big goal but forget to enjoy what we’ve already achieved. We can be surrounded by good things, crazy adventures, and people we love, but without mindfulness we won’t really connect to any of it.
It’s the difference between giving someone a hug because you’re supposed to and actually being aware of the person you are hugging and how much they mean to you. It’s the difference between always looking to the next big thing and being conscious of how much is in your life right now.
There are times when we need to plan for the future or look back to the past. But if our minds are always somewhere else, we will never be present for the only time we can actually connect with anything or anyone- right now.
Mindfulness Benefits Well-being
I really think that mindfulness is at the heart of mental and emotional well-being. There’s a reason that things like meditation can be so beneficial to our overall wellness. And I think mindfulness is one of the reasons for the benefits meditation gives.
We really do live in a culture that values distraction and entertainment. There is always something- television, social media, YouTube- that will distract us from our problems.
Paying attention to our mental and emotional state and being aware of what’s going on inside us is not easy. But we can’t ever improve on something if we never choose to recognize that it’s there.
So while mindfulness is what connects us to everything outside of us that matters, it also connects us to ourselves. How much awareness and acceptance we have toward ourselves is what will give us that inner well-being we all need.
What’s the Point?
For me, what it all comes down to is, if we aren’t living mindfully, what’s the point?
What’s the point of just going through the motions? What’s the point of always having the next thing to accomplish and never celebrating how far we’ve come? What’s the point of another day if we aren’t connected to anything?
Mindfulness is what allows us to experience joy. Being in the present moment- and being fully present- is what makes us able to enjoy anything and everything.
Otherwise, we are always striving for something and never getting there. Or letting our minds wander and get distracted, never to experience the joy of the real things around us.
All of us could probably get more out of life just by slowing down and being present for each life event and person and special moment.
Can’t Live Without Mindfulness
My argument is that we can’t live without mindfulness. We can exist. We can go through our routines and daily lives on autopilot. But mindfulness is what makes us alive and present in this life.
- Mindfulness is what connects us to the people and life around us
- Mindfulness gives us self-awareness and inner well-being
- Without mindfulness we are just going through the motions and never living
How many of us are actually fully present in each moment? I know I’m not, but it’s something I’m working towards doing more of.
Here are just a few ways to take mindfulness from an idea to an action:
- Slow down. The enemy of mindfulness is always being in a hurry and rushing through life.
- Take time to remember what matters to you. Don’t take the life around you for granted.
- Find self-awareness. Don’t be afraid to put away the distractions and look inwardly.
- Practice being fully present. In big and small moments try to be engaged and not distracted.
- Start small. Mindfulness is a practice and a lifelong journey. No perfection required.
Take some time to be more mindful today and see what happens. It just might make a world of difference!