Developing Mindful Attitudes to Life
When practising mindfulness, you can bring certain attitudes to your experience to really get the most out of living mindfully. Here are the key attitudes:
Curiosity. Practice being curious about things. When you go for a walk, notice what people are doing, what the trees look like and the range of sounds you can here. Also be curious about your own thoughts and emotions – just be interested rather than judgemental if you can.
Self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself and try again if possible. Give yourself a break rather than berating yourself. Catch moments of self-criticism and turn your attention to something more positive about yourself.
Mindful acceptance. If you’re feeling a particular emotion, allow the feeling to have some space to be present. Let the sensation be, rather than trying to change it. When you can begin to accept emotions as they come and go, you give them more freedom to pass away. What you resist, persists; what you accept, transforms.
Openness. Be open and receptive to your inner experiences. Take a step back and observe your thoughts and feelings. Be an observer of your experience rather than being stuck or caught up with a train of thought or difficult emotion.
Practice mindfulness meditation regularly to build up this skill. For example, rather than thinking ‘I’m anxious’, you can observing the feeling and think ‘I’m observing anxiety rising in my belly area. In time it will pass away. I’m just watching it’. In this way, you have a certain sense of freedom from the torrent of thoughts and emotions that may come your way.