Mindfulness: A quick and easy guide to a stress-free lifestyle

May 31, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

The ever-spiralling levels of stress that dominate our lives has seen the rapid rise of Mindfulness.

Devised to counter the ill-effects of our increasingly chaotic and irrational world, Mindfulness is a popular meditative practice designed to ease you into a better way of living.

By taking control of the way you acknowledge negativity, Mindfulness guides you into how best to reprocess that negativity into a positive energy that will allow you to achieve a perfectly balanced state of transformative Oneness both within yourself and in relation to your physical, emotional and spiritual environment.

Or something like that.

To properly understand how Mindfulness operates, let us first break down the term into its three component parts:

Mind – referring to the part of the inner self that houses all your thoughts and feelings;

Full – meaning how the process involves all of your mind, not just the good bits you show off to people at parties;

Ness – a clear reference to Loch Ness, the mysterious body of water in Scotland that is home to the giant prehistoric aquatic dinosaur known as the Loch Ness Monster or, more affectionately, “Nessie”.

The key to attaining Mindfulness requires setting aside all the distracting clutter of daily life and focusing on the here and now. Through this you will become hyper-aware of being in The Moment.

Nothing exists beyond The Moment, either before The Moment, after The Moment, next to The Moment, beneath The Moment or upstairs and to the right of The Moment. It’s just you and The Moment.

While in this existential state you will be able to achieve a higher state of being by acknowledging all of your feelings free of any moral judgement.

This shall allow you to greatly reduce stress, guilt and any associated negativity.

So, you can stop feeling bad about pretty much anything – not tipping that waitress; “forgetting” to leave a note on the windshield of that parked car you just rear-ended; dumping your unsorted domestic refuse into your neighbour’s recycling bin.

Breathing properly is crucial during this process. Pace yourself with long, deep intakes, counting from one to five before exhaling.

Timing is important. Avoid ordering food immediately beforehand because if the delivery driver arrives in the middle of your Mindfulness exercise you will find yourself torn between achieving deep and abiding spiritual peace or eating your family-sized super supreme with anchovies while it’s still hot.

While many people like to perform Mindfulness alone in a quiet room, you can induce a state of Mindfulness almost anywhere and at virtually any time.

You can do it while going for a nice long walk. Or waiting for your washing at the laundromat. Or sitting in a restroom cubicle. Or waiting for your bank to pick up.

A favourite place to enter the realm of Mindfulness is in the car while stuck in traffic.

Imagine all that honking and blaring and road rage disappearing from your thoughts as you merge with the Universe and clear your mind of any anxiety that this on-ramp is where you are most likely to be spending the rest of your life.

The great thing about Mindfulness is that not only can it immensely improve your life and mental health, it is also virtually cost-free.

Maybe you spring for a yoga mat and a few scented candles, setting you back maybe $12-15, tops, about the same as a half-price family-sized super supreme with anchovies (Tuesdays only).

And if you do your Mindfulness on work time you can probably get your accountant to list the mat and the candles as deductibles.

While practicing Mindfulness many people have reported experiencing Self Actualisation.

This phenomenon occurs when a person reaches a state of pure clarity and inner peace that is so intense they can tell the difference between a latte and a cappuccino.

Self Actualising is perfectly safe and natural – just beware that achieving this higher plane of consciousness is often accompanied by a loud noise similar to a car horn blaring “La Cucaracha”.

Remember, the ultimate goal of Mindfulness is for you to make friends with the most important person in the world – yourself.

This makes it easier to forgive yourself, such as when you try paying for your groceries with your insurance card or when hitting your thumb with a rubber mallet.

Achieving a state of Mindfulness must not be confused with zoning out. Many have even wondered: what is the difference between Mindfulness and just plain old relaxing? They sound like the same thing. What’s the diff?

After all, Mindfulness inevitably leads to relaxation, and it is necessary to relax before you initiate any Mindfulness technique.

Yet, confusing one for the other might lead you to think you are in a deep state of Mindfulness when you are, in fact, just relaxing.

Should this transpire, you might find yourself subject to an ISR – Inverse Synaptic Reversal – where your inability to distinguish Mindfulness from relaxation can lead you to believe that you are, in fact, the Loch Ness Monster.

In this eventuality never mind Mindfulness: sell your yoga mat, your scented candles and seek psychiatric help immediately.

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