Why Successful Mindfulness Is About More Than Accepting Meditation
Mindfulness is a complicated subject.
Many of us struggle to differentiate between mindfulness and meditation, seeing them as one and the same, that one leads into the other. However, there are distinct differences between the two.
While there is an obvious relationship, and meditation can be a step towards successful mindfulness, true achievement in that sense extends far beyond what meditation alone can offer. It’s much more about a state of mind and approach to life.
Achieving positive mindfulness is not just a case of deeply thinking in silence or contorting your body. For most people, that doesn’t even come into consideration, and it shouldn’t!
In this article, we’ll look beyond meditation and explain why finding success and tranquillity in mindfulness is about more than forcing yourself through the latest meditation fad.
Material change is often required
While mindfulness can offer peace of mind in trying times, overcoming the trials and tribulations of the modern world often requires material change more than it does a positive outlook.
If you’re worried about the future or struggling to make ends meet, there’s only so much a daily meditation session can offer you. It can allow you to step away, but genuine impact is often lacking. Sometimes, you need to be in a situation where you’re getting assistance and support, rather than just helping yourself.
When we say material change, we mean things like:
- Community groups and friendship
- Financial support
- Medical support
These things have a material impact on people’s lives, giving them the opportunity to grow and live more comfortably. If you can focus on ways of building these elements into your life, such as re-thinking how you apply for jobs or researching potential financial support options, you can start to feel much calmer in your own existence.
Responsibilities get in the way
Meditation is about existing in the here and now, giving yourself the chance to fully take stock of what is going on around you and feeding off that energy to find clarity.
That’s hard to do when your responsibilities are piling up next to you.
The average person has so much to deal with every day, that dedicating time to meditation is simply not a realistic way to approach mindfulness. Instead, focusing on addressing these responsibilities and making them less antagonistic to your everyday life is a brilliant starting point.
Many demanding careers, such as ones in the military or healthcare, often come with significant emotional impact, even when you’re outside of typical work times. Using these examples that’s why reaching out to services such as VA Claim Pros for financial assurance post-tour or Healthline for mental health support is so important. It takes some responsibility off of your shoulders and allows you to properly lose yourself in mindfulness techniques.
Equally, this can explain why gadgets and tools such as the Timeqube have become such important support mechanisms for everyday workers, as they allow regular people who may not connect with meditation to address their ability to focus and channel it into their working day. They make just accepting responsibility more manageable.
You should put as much importance on physical health
While the rise in mental health awareness in the last couple of years is something to be applauded, it’s important not to understate the importance of physical health.
A person’s physical wellbeing can have a significant impact on their mood and outlook. If you’re not taking proper care of yourself it can be hard to make the most of something as demanding and all-consuming as meditation.
Of course, meditation can be a form of exercise in some sense, however, physical health is about more than getting a couple of stretches in.
Consistency in diet and exercise is a brilliant way of achieving mindfulness and make every day more rewarding. How and what you eat is key, as anyone who’s slumped their way through another disappointing cheat week can attest to.
When managed in tandem with these changes in lifestyle, it can be easier to see the full effects of meditation. A good diet full of fruits and vegetables that doesn’t indulge in unhealthy foods coupled with a consistent exercise routine can open the door for meditation success.
Meditation doesn’t work for everyone
At the end of the day meditation just isn’t for everyone.
The idea of silence and concentration as a means of blocking out life’s problems simply isn’t a solution that everyone can or wants to apply to their life.
Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives to meditation that can help achieve the same goal, that might just appeal to the more adventurous and active among us.
If you can’t get into meditation give these a try:
- Walking/hiking through the local countryside
- Dancing as part of a group or solo
- Art therapy
These are all physical acts that demand concentration, yet allow room for introspective thinking. They take you out of step of your everyday fears and responsibilities, and allow you to connect with a type of mindfulness that works for you.
And that’s really what mindfulness is all about, making it work for you.
There’s no set way to achieve mindfulness or begin to address your relationship with it. If there was, it certainly wouldn’t be something as inaccessible as meditation often is. Find your path to mindfulness and make sure you’re exploring it in a way that has a meaningful impact on your life.