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This is What True Mindfulness Means in Daily Life

As we have discussed in the Ultimate Guide to Mindfulness for Beginners, the very concept of mindfulness has become confused, strange and oftentimes contradictory. So it is important to have a clear definition and understanding of mindfulness so you can understand how using it in your daily life can create unimaginable results. 

In DeRose, mindfulness is “to be here, now”. Mindfulness is the skill to maintain your attention, your concentration, and your focus on everything you do. We also refer to this state of consciousness as the word dháraná, which is Sanskrit and it means mental concentration. 

Clearly, based on this definition, we can see how true mindfulness has a place in all areas of your daily life, in all moments you live. In this article we are going to explore the meaning of applying true mindfulness in several aspects of our lives. 

Transforming Daily Activities with Mindfulness

There is an interesting distinction between what is conscious or subconscious or what is automated or habitual behaviour. Regardless, if you are not conscious of your thoughts or you are just being on automatic mode you can really do with training your skills in mindfulness so that you can experience the benefits in daily life. 

Regardless of the exact figure, if I was to ask you which foot did you put on your socks first this morning or how many bicycles did you see on your commute to work or even how many emails you have written today, it is possible that you are mostly unaware of these answers. 

So what is the result if you add mindfulness into your every moment?

There are many factors which you will benefit from by simply being more present in everything you do. For example, you will be able to recall more clearly what you do, that morning coffee will now really taste, your meals will be more flavourful, and fulfilling. It goes beyond:

  • you will be able to be more present in meetings,
  • to recall better what you read and learn,
  • to exist more fully.

One could even go so far as to say that you will experience your life so fully that it will feel like you are increasing your lifespan, as you are fully present for every moment of your life!

Enhancing Relationships Through Mindful Communication

However, the concept of dháraná goes beyond just being present in everyday activities. You can apply it to the way you communicate. Similarly to your activities, how we communicate is totally automatic. It takes a great deal of mental energy to simply talk, and so most people just follow their habitual patterns and are not really aware of what they say. 

However, when you truly concentrate and experience how you communicate you can choose better your words, you can consider how the listener will interpret what you say and if you can express yourself more effectively. This can be invaluable at work, among friends and even in your personal life, as you can hear better what others say as well as express yourself more accurately. 

On the other hand, being mindful can also generate anxiety and stress. For example, if you become really conscious of your hands when you are talking. Who has not experienced this before? It is all too easy to misguide your concentration and focus and your experience of this moment, causing the very results to backfire.

How can we avoid this danger?

The key here is to have professional support. An experienced teacher will be able to guide you to focus your attention, to be able to be familiar with the technique and allow you to avoid any traps.

Boosting Work Productivity with Mindfulness Practices

When I sat down to write this article I took a lesson from Professor DeRose, who wrote: “Before I started writing, I turned off my phone, I closed all the apps on my computer, I closed my eyes and started to observe my breathing, my emotions, and my state of mind. I prepared myself for the task of writing. I did all this so I could be fully present, without distractions, and make best use of my limited time. Although it may seem like I was doing a meditation technique, I did not do those actions above with the intent of meditating, nor reducing stress. DeRose Method students, experienced or beginners, can do the above actions to apply mindfulness practically in their lives.” 

When you are able to turn off all distractions and dedicate 100% of your mental resources to any activity there is only one possible outcome: you will produce your best work. You will be alert to make connections, you will be aware of interpretations and points of view and be able to predict objections. 

So many people believe that they need to put in long hours to get work done. But have you ever seen what the output you produce when you are tired, lacking mental focus and clarity? In my experience many people who do work under these conditions end up throwing the work away and starting again. 

However, if you can be free of distractions, present at the moment you are working, aware of yourself and your task, not only will you need less time to achieve your results, but the quality will be greater!

The Journey Towards Mindful Living

So what have we learned?

We have seen a great definition of mindfulness – if you want to dive deeper on the basics of this, I highly recommend that you read our Ultimate Guide to Mindfulness for Beginners. We then looked at how applying dháraná in your routine daily activities, in your communication and in your work can really generate a significant change not only on your experience of these activities but on their actual outcome. 

So is our conclusion that you need to do it?

Actually, I would go further. I would recommend that you not only apply this into your life, but more, that you invest your time and commitment to learning from expert professionals who have been training and teaching this for decades and who have the knowhow to take you to the next level. 

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Fabs Martins

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