What is mindfulness?

I’ve recently been thinking about what it means to be mindful and I think people can sometimes overcomplicate the notion of mindfulness.

I think it’s just about making the right choices – maybe this is where the complication can occur because what is right and what is wrong?

I’d say when it comes to people, pick your battles. Does everything need a response? Do you need to have an argument with someone that doesn’t see your point of view?

Illustration by Sonia Dhillon Draws

When it comes to food, if you fancy something sweet like chocolate, maybe a piece of fruit could satisfy that craving but if not and you really need some chocolate, because let’s face it these situations do occur – could you switch the milk chocolate for dark chocolate?

Being mindful also stems down to the things you put into your mind, such as the TV programs you watch, the magazines you read and the type of music you listen to. Mindlessly scrolling through someone’s social media feed, is something you don’t need to do because before you know it, you’re comparing yourself to a complete stranger, bought the last five items they were sponsored to promote and you wasted two hours that you could have been doing something productive with – such as working towards your own goals and dreams, going for a walk, or learning something new like cooking or doing an online course.

I mention this because, social media has become such a huge part of the world we live in and it’s important that we learn to use it responsibly. You can do this by setting yourself boundaries – something I’ve had to do for myself. Such as not going on any kind of social media whilst I’m in my bed, a million percent never using my phone in the bathroom because that’s just gross, I don’t do this but you can even set timers on certain apps so you can only access them at certain times.

It’s also important to pay attention to the words you use, no one is perfect, even amazing spiritual teachers like Sadhguru use the odd swear word now and again, in context of course. So, think about how you speak out loud, be joyful and positive with your words. This also applies with your thoughts and self-talk, be as positive as you possibly can be.

So, to conclude, think about how you respond to others, think about the food you consume and think about what your eyes and ears take in.