Wednesday, March 15, 2017

7 Essential Habits of Highly Mindful People

This article just called to me, not so much because mindfulness is the latest "trend" to talk about, but because being mindful is simply a smart way to live. Haven't we had someone in our life -- whether it is current or in the past -- that really made a strong impression in our lives? Someone we've looked up to or greatly respected because they were so wise despite going through difficult times? These people that we've looked up to were mindful and thoughtful in their approach to life, wouldn't you agree? There are 7 essential habits that those that we've grown to admire more than likely followed and that made them stronger individuals. Regardless, the habits mentioned below are good habits to keep.

(1) They hold their thoughts lightly. It is easy to get caught up in the "warp speed" that life takes us in whether it is in getting to your meeting on time in the morning or completing job tasks that have a deadline of "by the end of the day" no matter what! This is when it is good to assess your own thoughts to approaching the day -- are you believing you can complete those tasks on time? will they be good enough for the boss? do you doubt your own capability to do a great job? One does not have to believe everything that comes to mind! How many negative thoughts clutter up our mind in a day? Many! But, we have the capability to not believe in those negative thoughts. This is where a positive mindset comes into play -- use it over and over again, believe in yourself and it will become a habit.

(2) They feel what they are feeling. There is no doubt that many times one can "read" someone's face, especially if they are unhappy, sad or angry. I don't suggest that we become so transparent, but it is important to acknowledge that we may not always have a perfect day! There are days that are tougher than others, even if you are typically an upbeat and positive person. After all, how can we continuously have all peaks and no valleys? That just isn't life. By becoming more mindful, we know that the tough times will pass, and when they do, there can be another peak!

(3) They accept the temporary nature of things. Once again, a mindful person recognizes that a bad day or going through a difficult time won't last forever -- there will be better days ahead. Just as an amazing weekend with friends or a loved one won't be a constant we can rely on, we can simply look forward to the good times ahead. When the "peaks" or good times are over, mindful people recognize that life is constantly changing and much of how we work and approach life can influence our good and bad times.

(4) They meditate. Not everyone needs to call it meditation, especially if you aren't used to it. But, it is important to take a few minutes of quiet time for ourselves to simply be in the moment and be aware to enjoy the silence and see where it takes us. If negative thoughts come to mind, we have the power to change that and think of something beautiful or a special memory of good times you've had in the past. It is invigorating.

(5) They do one thing at a time. We've heard so many times about how people are so busy because they have a million things to do, right? But, it does make sense to do one task at a time well and move on to the next instead of trying to do a great job at 2 or 3 things at the same time! As Stephen Covey mentions in his book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", time management is most effective when we've lived -- or attempt to live in a state of perspective and balance instead of constant crises, pressing problems and deadline-driven projects. By living more purposefully, we can minimize arising problems that may not even arise if we've prepared for what may be ahead of us.

(6) They turn everyday tasks into mindful moments. If we make gratitude part of our daily way of thinking and living, we can turn the everyday tasks ahead into ones that we can be thankful for even being able to accomplish on our own. As easy as it is to take a shower in the morning to get ready for your day, think of those that can't even do that on their own! So many times we take our everyday tasks as merely tasks that need to get done. We don't question ourselves every morning by saying, "How do I take a shower again?" By being grateful for the everyday tasks of life, it begins to set the tone for the rest of the day.

(7) They protect and nurture their bodies and mind. We've all heard and learned over the years that your body is a temple and so we need to take care of it and keep it healthy! After all, this is the only body we get in our lifetime, right? There is nothing like knowing that once you've reached a certain age that you've done a fairly good job of taking care of yourself. In observing other people around us, one can see that some have taken care of themselves better than others, right? Doesn't everyone want to live a healthy life? Absolutely yes! So, it is just as crucial to eat well, sleep well and exercise too. It pays off in the end!

Life is short and goes by so fast, doesn't it? Isn't that reason enough to live life as purposefully as possible by following the 7 essential habits as mentioned above?

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