Everyone knows that being more mindful is recommended for a host of reasons. Greater calm and clarity, and more joy, are just some of the more obvious benefits.
Sometimes, though, you get so caught up in familiar patterns or bad habits that it’s hard to remember you’re supposed to be bringing awareness to what you’re doing. One thing that can help is to have a visual cue to remind you of your intention. For example, this wonderful Ace of Swords from the Cosmic Mother Tarot (Alice Grist, 2017) speaks of the power of transformation available when you bring your thoughts to bear in a focused way.
Another way to prep yourself for success is to use tapping ahead of time.
By tapping, you are creating a subconscious reminder for yourself to be more mindful. You can remind yourself to be aware when you are slipping into a bad habit, or when you are falling into a familiar yet unwanted mindset or emotional state.
Not only that, you can also use tapping to set yourself up to be mindful and practise gratitude for the wonderful things in your life. It’s easy to miss the simple pleasures, to discount them or take them for granted.
Bringing mindfulness to the positives can also help you install behaviours, thoughts and feelings that you want in your life. Rather than it just being the absence of an unwanted habit or mindset, you can focus on what the upside looks, feels and sounds like.
For example, if you want to be less anxious, think about times when you do enjoy life and feel calm. The more you bring your attention to those times the more you appreciate them, and the easier it is to expand those feelings into other areas and aspects of your day to day.
Another area that you may not have considered in terms of awareness is diet. This is not just about eating mindfully and healthily. It’s also about becoming aware of how food is affecting you.
For example, there is a lot of evidence that even ‘healthy’ foods can act as triggers for bloating and sluggishness. Not everyone is affected by all of these foods, and the quantity you eat can also be a factor. By becoming more aware of the sensations in your body, you can use a plan like the low FODMAP diet to help you pinpoint what works for you and what doesn’t: you may be surprised by the results!
Awareness is the key in all these situations. Whether it is stopping yourself before you’ve gone all the way down a path you don’t want to take, or realising what the emotion behind a given reaction is, being more mindful will help. And whether you want to implement a healthier approach to food, or to increase your sense of well-being by noticing what makes you feel happy and giving thanks for it, once again it is awareness that is needed.
Here’s a brief tapping session to help you remind yourself to be more mindful and aware: