“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” Proverbs 16:7.
Mindfulness is difficult work. Advertisements, articles, and certain gurus can do a great job of making it appear as if cultivating mindfulness is simple and maybe even natural; it isn’t. Mindfulness also doesn’t solve all your life problems.
There will be days when you are extra busy, tired, overwhelmed, or experiencing multiple distractions; these are the days and times to be careful not to neglect being mindful.
It is easy to forget to check in with our self when we are occupied and mindfulness is designed to help us to end that habit. When you are busy, listen to your body, even if you think you are not hungry, the body still needs food for energy and nourishment; a cup of coffee or an energy drink is not nourishing.
Don’t be easily tempted to fall back into the habit of not being aware of yourself and your surroundings. Mindfulness requires a lot of practice and takes time to become a part of your life. Be kind and patient with yourself as you learn and grow. Develop mindfulness in small and consistent stages. Start with walks, or practice each time you brush your teeth or take a shower. Maybe start with your morning and night time routine. Whatever you are able to commit to consistently, begin with that. After a while you can move on to other areas of your life until it becomes a regular, overall practice in your life.
If you are struggling to make mindfulness a habit, decide on a time or activity where you will begin practicing mindfulness. It can be an activity: walking, jogging, riding public transit, etc. Maybe a daily activity in your home: showering, brushing your teeth, eating a meal, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, etc. You can also do this while interacting with others in conversation such as: your spouse, your boss, your children, family members, or staff at a coffee shop or fast food place. During all of this remember that your aim to be aware of your feelings, emotions, senses, and body. When you are doing this while interacting with others, be careful to be present, engaged and attentive to the other person(s), while also being aware of any reactions you might be having and external things you are noticing.