I can’t even say exactly when it was that I started to practice mindfulness. It just sort of happened gradually and I would consider myself still in the process of learning how to live more in the present moment. I still have my urges of needing to make plans for years in advance but I do try to catch myself when I do.
There is no right or wrong in the practice of mindfulness. I see it as an exercise of simply becoming more aware of what’s going on around me. Those moments might be while I’m writing one thing and actually thinking about something else or when I’m with my kids and I’m looking at my phone for distraction. In those situations, I make myself aware of the fact that I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing and my mind instantly switches on again.
I want to use today’s post and share with you some surprising effects I’ve encountered since living more mindfully.
Time doesn’t fly by anymore
The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that I find my days don’t fly by anymore. I pay closer attention to what I’m doing during the day and how I’m doing my tasks.
This effect is really amazing. For example, my husband just went on a two-week business trip. He’s set to return tomorrow and I feel like he’s been gone for a month. My days were filled with so much and because I turned my attention to the moments individually, not much had turned into a routine.
But even without those kinds of out of the ordinary situations, because I pay attention to how I spend my days, I experience them much more intense.
Mindfulness helps to turn off
Mindfulness helps to turn off
In the same vein goes my next observed effect: I can turn off more easily.
There are days where there is a lot going on at the same time. I might have to organise a whole lot of things or there is just a general buzz around me. Reminding myself to take a deep breath, remove myself from the situation and detach myself from the feeling of feeling overwhelmed, has helped me a lot with dealing with those moments. I usually look around at what it is that’s bothering me in that particular situation and I try to resolve it. If I can’t I remove myself from the situation, I take a deep breath. Or I scream into the wind.
There is less room for a routine
From the get-go, I’m not a big fan of strict routines. I don’t completely live into the day every day but I don’t like being limited by external forces such as timetables either.
Since I have been living more mindfully I’ve noticed that even if there is a routine to follow, I can deal with it more easily. I simply look at every single day as a new day and take it from there. Mindfulness helps me to break free from any restricting routine which is more likely to force me to live mindlessly. And it allows me to view every day with open eyes and an open mind.
Mindfulness helps to learn a new language
At the moment, I’m studying Swedish in an intensive language course which I really enjoy. The thing I enjoy most is to speak a new language with my fellow classmates. We are all from different countries and speak different languages. The only language we all have in common is Swedish but in varying fluency.
Mindfulness is really helping me to accept my classmates regardless of any cultural difference and to learn from them and their language backgrounds. None of us is perfect in Swedish and we are all there to help each other. Reminding myself of that fact when I feel irritation rising because of something a classmate says. And not speaking the language fluently helps a lot to not jump to conclusions about another person.
I’m overall more relaxed
In general, mindfulness is helping me to relax. I’ve never been the typical worrier but living mindfully is helping to let go of the bit that was left. Every day, I give myself and others more room to grow and experiment. I don’t expect to have my life figured out at any time because I live here and now. And reminding myself that that is okay, is a huge step in the direction of feeling more relaxed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments where I get flustered and I think about what’s going to happen. Not every moment of my life is ruled by mindfulness but whenever I feel like it’s too much and hurting me more than it’s helping me, I can turn to the present moment and just enjoy what is going on right in front of my eyes.