Mindfulness is on-trend at the moment and can be a great tool to help us deal with stress. Summed up, mindfulness is basically the practice of becoming more present and aware of our body, mind and emotions.
There’s a lot of information out there about mindfulness and ‘selfcare’ but beware – reading inspirational quotes on Instagram all day and taking long walks in nature help, but are a means to an end, not the end itself.
Mindfulness is about self-exploration, not distraction, and this is why I call this The Mindfulness Trap. Feel good thoughts are great, but questioning and dealing with the less positive ones is where real development lies.
Remember that a good quote can change your life but one quote that leads to action is infinitely better that 1000 quotes that lead to no action.
And taking action is what it all boils down to.
Mindfulness is a journey to understanding our own mind and emotions, which means experiencing unpleasant emotions too. The real study of mindfulness is about experiencing all emotions, good and bad, and understanding the effects they have on our thoughts and actions.
Something that’s common and something that I’ve definitely been guilty of in the past is avoiding unpleasant situations, feelings and emotions. It takes courage to allow yourself to feel a negative emotion or put yourself in an uncomfortable situation but becoming aware of what you’re avoiding and then taking action will develop your confidence and mindfulness all at the same time.
A great question to ask yourself is ‘What feelings, situations or events am I avoiding?’.
When you start to uncover the things that you avoid consciously or unconsciously you can start to work towards taking action. Small steps are fine, but distracting yourself and letting yourself off the hook because you might feel uncomfortable is not.
Feel the good and the bad, then take action towards the things you’re avoiding – the results will speak for themselves.