Mindfulness On the Run – What’s Causing It?
Mindfulness – the word is all about calm and a sense of fulfillment.
Extensive pieces of literature and media coverage have romanticized meditation and mindfulness.
However, many people have reported that mindfulness ‘isn’t working’ for them. They can’t experience the inner peace they want, and often can’t figure out what is wrong with their practice.
If you are also facing troubles in quieting your mind and letting the thoughts flow, this blog will help you.
But before jumping into details, let’s learn what mindfulness is all about.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the sensation and realization of the current reality without any layers of judgment, perception, or thoughts. It’s nothing but a state where you do not fight with any thoughts and choose to just be.
In simple terms, mindfulness is the ability of your mind to be fully aware of the surroundings and your own thoughts, without being reactive to them.
When practiced right, mindfulness can help you achieve a long list of physical and mental benefits.
While you can achieve mindfulness through meditation, yoga, and physical activities, the path is not clear of obstacles. Many people experience a hard time in practicing mindfulness – they say they can’t focus on being ‘aware,’ or can’t keep up with their ‘breathing exercises.’ Well, if this sounds like you, here’s what you should know –
Why Isn’t Mindfulness Working?
When one can’t slow down their thoughts to practice mindfulness, they start to feel negative and skeptical about this mind training technique.
It’s legit for people to be concerned about why their mindfulness practice is not working for them. Is it that their mind is just too wild to tame?
That is rarely, if ever, the case!
In reality, most people fail to understand that mindfulness isn’t a pill to swallow to experience instant ease from physical/mental ailments – it’s an ongoing and intentional effort.
People tend to focus on the results, rather than their practice, and hence often feel confused and overwhelmed.
It’s imperative to remember that mindfulness takes time, and with time, the secret to ease and abundance unveils. Here are some of the blocks that may be hindering you from embracing mindfulness:
1. A Doubtful Nature
One of the biggest obstacles one faces while practicing mindfulness is doubt.
Before moving along the path of mindfulness, you might start forming doubts about whether it will work for you or not.
Doubt is the direct consequence of our fears and resistance to change. It’s that voice that makes us question our abilities and beliefs. But remember, nothing can work out as intended if we are not optimistic about it, including mindfulness. The more we doubt mindfulness, the more difficult it is to practice it.
The simplest way to let go of your doubts is to believe that our doubts are not hard facts and have no value at all. What you are doing is important, and you will only achieve the desired results if you try focusing and working on it with full belief.
When our mind is trained to keep working, making it stop, or slowing down the thought process can be tricky. One might experience an outburst of thoughts, emotions, and feelings while practicing mindfulness. This is nothing but restlessness.
Fighting this emotion will only create a mental blockage and make it even more difficult to practice mindfulness.
Instead of fighting it, one must uncover the true reason behind it. Anxiety about the future or fear of uncertainty could be the cause of a restless mind. Merely recognizing the cause of your wandering mind can help you control it better.
Let’s admit it, we all get impatient waiting for our turn in a grocery store or a movie theatre. The mere thought that we are far away from our goal is enough to turn us restless and impatient.
Lack of patience signifies our inability to wait for things to happen. In the case of mindfulness too, we expect quick and effective results in no time.
When we fail to attain mindfulness even after days and days of practice and meditation, we start to feel irritated and frustrated.
While one might try to speed through the process, it will only make you more restless and irritable. Instead of trying to achieve instant results, consider the time it takes as a part of the whole experience. Be patient and let the calm rule your mind naturally.
4. Missing Out On Sleep
It’s a sad truth – we are a sleep-deprived global nation with lesser and lesser time to take rest and relinquish our energy.
It’s a common tendency to feel sleepy whenever we have some free time. In such a scenario, if we invest the free time in mindfulness practice, one is bound to feel sleepy and tired. In addition to tiredness, some overwhelming experience or feeling could be an underlying cause of sleepiness.
A half-awake mind will only make you lose focus on the entire experience and make it ineffective. So, the next time you feel sleepy while meditating, consider it as a sign that you need to rest and ease your mind.
Our desires and wants are the biggest blockages in achieving mindfulness. Even the smallest desire to be at a different place or eat a certain food is enough to take away our mind from the present.
One often experiences a sudden surge of desire, even before beginning the practice. Such desires will either turn you restless or entirely block your mind from concentrating in the now.
Have a Determined Mind to Master Mindfulness
If you are keen to live in ‘now’ and practice mindfulness, determination is the key.
To tame your wandering thoughts, you will need to focus on your practice before you start it. If you can’t resist the urge to think about places or food or anything else, try to let it be a part of your consciousness and then allow these thoughts to drift away by gradually pulling out the attention that you were giving them at first.
A determined mind is always looking towards the final results, and to achieve it, you must be focused by being aware of your thoughts.
Practicing mindfulness isn’t easy, but it isn’t difficult either.
All you need is to let its benefits unfold naturally, without any force. Instead of expecting a quick outcome, treat mindfulness meditation as a gradual process that develops with time and patience. Each obstacle you face is just another step on your journey to achieving mindful, conscious living.