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How to Make it Work for You

Basia Skudrzyk

· life advice,wellness,behavior,leadership,health

Originally published on

By now, you have heard of mindfulness. Perhaps you tried it or practiced sporadically, but it didn't work for you. Or, you are curious and not sure what it entails. Whether you want to improve your practice or begin, you must know what defines mindfulness and how to use it well.

What's mindfulness?

Most people's minds are full of thoughts. A mind crowded 24/7 is as uncomfortable as jostling through an overcrowded station and not stepping off the platform. 

Your mind benefits from time away from the constant chatter of self-talk. Just as your psyche rests during sleep, mindfulness lets your mind relax and recoup. 

Regular practice will increase calm and stable emotions. Your self-awareness, focus, and decision-making skills will grow too.

When mindful, rather than entertaining a river of thoughts, you witness self-talk. You detach and gain peace of mind, a vacation from overwhelming stress and concerns.

Your mind becomes full of awareness instead of uncontrollable thought-streams vying for attention. 

How to be mindful

You might imagine you are mindful when walking among nature and thinking about problems. Time in the country promotes a healthy mind, but it's not calming if your psyche is congested.

To be mindful, calm your system. Take deep breaths and follow them with awareness. At first, your mind will send distractions that grab attention. Witness them and let them go, though, and they will fade. See thoughts as passing trains, and they will leave you in peace.

Once you understand how to let thoughts go, you're ready to apply attention on purpose. Fill your mind with a chosen topic rather than let it run wild. Consider walking, your muscles as they lengthen and contract and the weight of your body as you step forward for instance.

“Or, apply your attention to a chore at home or work. When an unrelated thought to your topic appears, witness it and let it pass,” stated Basia Skudrzyk Najarro.

When to practice

To make mindfulness work for you, practice when you are untroubled. The best time to be mindful is not when you are overwhelmed but when you are fine. Cases of overwhelm will diminish the more you engage in mindfulness.

Don't wait for stress to strike and wrestle it to the ground. Develop a peaceful mindset, so you don't feel overwhelmed often.

You'll get the most out of mindfulness by practicing at opportune moments when you are well. Stress will be easier to handle, and negative emotions will lessen.