Do you ever feel like life is rushing by at the speed of light and you’re hanging on for dear life, wondering where the time went and thinking about what you would like to do in the future?

For many people, this causes a great deal of anxiety.

You may have heard of mindfulness meditation as a way to become happier. But why mindfulness meditation – why not just focus on being more present?

Mindfulness is a practice that helps you get the most out of every moment, whether or not you are doing something exciting or just going about your business.

It helps you become less stressed because your thoughts aren’t stuck in the past or worried about the future – and, it helps you become self-aware so that you can change the things about yourself that you don’t like.

you become less stressed because your thoughts aren’t stuck in the past or worried about the future

Why Mindfulness Meditation Helps You Be Happier

1. Mindfulness will help you slow down. You will actually get more done because you’re fully focused on what you’re doing, meaning you will do it better, more thoroughly and with far fewer mistakes.

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2. Mindfulness is a stress-buster. When your thoughts aren’t racing off to the future or stuck on a problem from the past that you can’t undo, you will be happier, and more at peace.

3. Mindfulness helps you become self-aware. What are you saying to yourself – is your self-talk supportive or self-defeating? Are you talking yourself into a good mood, or a bad mood?

4. Mindfulness helps you become more patient and understanding. When you take the time to understand what drives your behaviors (both good and bad), you become more compassionate to what drives other people’s behaviors. Almost magically, you will become more understanding and compassionate.

5. Mindfulness helps you become more appreciative. So much of our anxiety comes from not having something, or fear that we might lose it. But when you stop and appreciate what you really do have you might be surprised at how much you take for granted, without appreciating how it enriches you.

6. Mindfulness helps you make better choices. How many times have you made a decision to do or not do something just because you’ve always done it that way? Does it always work out well for you? When you pause, and recognize your automatic patterns, you can break the ones that don’t support you.

Mindfulness meditation takes getting used to so here is a two-part way to become more mindful without feeling even more anxious because you’re taking time to do it.

Part 1: Everyday Stuff

Here’s something interesting to help you fit mindfulness into your life. On an average day, we spend approximately 1½ hours doing mundane activities that don’t require a lot of conscious thought.

Your morning routine, for example, is a series of automatic behaviors that you do while you’re thinking about other things.

Why not take this time to practice mindfulness? Be fully present and completely into the experience of taking a shower, getting dressed, preparing and eating breakfast, and going to work. What physical sensations do you feel? What is going on around you? What are you thinking about, when you notice your thoughts? What is your mood?

 mundane activities that don’t require a lot of conscious thought

If you consider that this 1½ hours goes on day after day after day, you could potentially spend 10½ hours per week… 42 hours per month… 21 days per year… being more mindful during these automatic, everday activities.

Part 2: Mindfulness Meditation

Think about why mindfulness meditation can make a mindfulness practice even easier and more powerful. It’s easy: when you make it a habit to pay attention to what you are doing, thinking and feeling during meditation, you are more likely to pay attention to the present moment as you go about your day.

During meditation, think, “what is happening now?” and notice whatever comes into your awareness. You may notice physical sensations, environmental factors like light or temperature, and even thoughts. Just be careful not to get involved in your thoughts. When you notice that you are thinking about something, bring your attention back to your breath or your preferred meditation technique (or, in your everyday activities, back to what you are doing).

You don’t have to devote a ton of time every day to mindfulness meditation: 15 minutes is plenty, and if you can do both a meditation and become more mindful during your day, you will really make some amazing strides in your personal growth.

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