Which unrealistic expectations are harming your mindfulness practice?
Practicing mindfulness has had a massive effect on my life. Since leaving an abusive relationship in 2014, I’ve become much more resilient in the face of problems, my focus has improved, and I’m definitely much happier!
Mindfulness has become something of a buzz-word of late and although it’s growing in popularity, this ages-old practice is still misconceived by many. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, and many benefits to be gained: but to get the most out of it, you’ll need to put any unrealistic expectations to one side. Here are some of the most common…
Unrealistic Expectations Of Mindfulness To Avoid
It’s all about meditation. Meditation can be a strong feature of mindfulness, for sure, but that’s just a part of it. There are many ways to bring mindfulness to your day that don’t involve meditating: reflection, empathy or simply savouring the simple moments of your day.
You need a big block of time and a quiet space to practice. Mindfulness can be practised anywhere, even in a room full of rampaging kids – trust me, I’ve been there! It’s about being in the moment, even if that moment is wild! Just a few, deep breaths can suffice. You don’t need a large, peaceful room with cushions and candles – after all, your mind is inside YOU!
If you’re not 100% chill all the time you have failed at mindfulness. This is absolutely not true; being mindful is a journey and challenges get easier to deal with the more you do it. It’s a long-term relationship, so don’t expect to be filled with a zen-like inner peace the first time you practice.
It’s only good for mental health. Mindfulness has been shown to have positive effects on other areas too, such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate, reducing stress (and, in turn, the physical effects of stress on the body) and better general health.
You need a completely quiet mind for it. My mind is always buzzing! Blocking out all of your thoughts would be being mindless, not mindful! You don’t want to block out all of your thoughts, as being mindful involves acknowledging those thoughts and accepting them. It’s a quick win. Your worries and concerns won’t melt away immediately. Depending on the situation you may even feel more tense and agitated at first, but the calm will come with practice.
Mindfulness means you’re happy all of the time – great! Well, not necessarily. Mindfulness means acknowledging all of your emotions – good and not-so-good, and being kind to yourself. It gets easier with time.
Mindfulness is passive – it’ll be easy to do, won’t it? Mindfulness takes effort, and isn’t a quick-fix. To get the most benefit, you need to put time into practising. Only then will it get easier, and you’ll start to see so many benefits in your life!
Finding the “zen” zone.
To learn more about how mindfulness can benefit you, why not join in with our weekly mindfulness session on my Facebook page.
What unrealistic expectations of mindfulness would you do away with? Let me know in the comments!