Why Mindfulness is Essential for a Deep and Fulfilling Life
Life will find a way to cause you anguish.
Our modern-day environment can cause ridiculous amounts of stress, our genetics can predispose us to debilitating diseases, random chance can cause catastrophic events, and certain people’s sole purpose on this planet seems to be to cause you as much irritation as possible.
As if that is not enough, sometimes your mind itself becomes the enemy, seemingly making you worry about everything from mundane social interactions to actual existential crises. It can become a never-ending echo chamber of anxiety, causing emotions and actions that seem out of line with your ideal self.
Despite everything you do, sometimes the universe just seems to be trying everything it can do to deter you from the peace of mind you seek. Situations and circumstances are routinely out of our control.
Your modern day environment is filled with obstacles that can cause anxiety and stress. Sometimes the biggest obstacle of them all is your own mind.
This is where mindfulness becomes such a powerful tool, a way of being in this world that makes it harder for the usual turmoil of your mind or environment derail you. It is a manner of thinking that can lead to a more meaningful and blissful life—a way of being in and experiencing the world around us in a much more complete fashion.
It might come as a surprise, but you are not your thoughts and feelings. In those moments of extreme boredom, or anger, or sadness, you may notice that sentiments that you cannot control routinely make their way into your head causing physiological responses like anxiety and stress.
You don’t want to be held prisoner by these emotions, reacting aimlessly to every single circumstance through instinct, much like a child would. Instead, we have the ability to train our minds to operate differently.
Humans have the capacity to reason through things, observe the mechanics of our own thinking, and pay attention to the present moment in a way that it alters the negative outcomes that we would normally experience when unpleasant circumstances occur.
Your thoughts and feelings are not always an accurate representation of reality. Mindfulness is a way to stop being held prisoner by them and to start taking back control of your mind.
While the practices of mindfulness and meditation go back thousands of years and are rooted in some of humanity’s most ancient cultures and religions, it is only recently that science has shown how powerful they can be in making you think more clearly, make better decisions, better respond to frustrations, and just be more content in general.