For those who are just getting started as far as mindfulness practices and techniques, it can be a bit confusing to know what you can use your mindfulness practices for. While the use of mindful thought patterns can lead to a more peaceful state of mind overall, you may be wondering how you can use these habits to cultivate more positive change in your life. As the second half of 2021 begins, this can be the perfect opportunity for you to take what you’ve learned so far and apply it in order to make some changes. Try these simple tips:
Notice the Times You’ve Felt “In the Groove”
Now that we’re 6 months into 2021, there’s no doubt that you have had the opportunity to notice what’s going well for you – and, of course, what isn’t. Bring these observations into your mindfulness practice today. Start off by sitting and noticing (or reviewing instances from the past) that have made you feel great. These could be general subject areas, like when you’re exploring a new interest in architecture. They could also be activities that come up during your day, like leading marketing meetings at work. You can also notice the times of day or practices within your day that leave you with the highest amount of energy.
Pay Attention to the Issues That Keep Bothering You
Similar to noticing the times and activities that leave you feeling fantastic, it’s also crucial for you to observe the situations that drain you. As you are paying attention to the things or people that bug you, keep an open mind. This exercise is about giving your mind the opportunity to signal its biggest discomforts to you without judgment. Again, the range of ideas or experiences that annoy you may be far-reaching. You may realize that you keep trying to be extraordinarily productive in the mornings when you’re not really a morning person, and that this custom is exhausting you. You may also discover that some of your job duties are significant sources of frustration for you, even though there’s nothing you can really do to change them.
Set Intentions Based on What You’ve Observed
While mindfulness involves paying attention to your thoughts without judgment, the practice of observing your thoughts can give you valuable feedback about your future goals and intentions. Using the conclusions you’ve drawn about the things that are giving you energy and the things that are bothering you, you can formulate some intentions for the next half of the year. When you’re deciding where to focus your intention, try starting with the biggest takeaway that you had from the previous two steps. If your largest revelation was that working in coffee shops leaves you feeling energized, then set your intention to build in more time to focus on this. Using mindfulness will give your intentions extra weight.