Everything You Wanted to Know,
But Were Afraid to Ask
Oprah Winfrey, Dr Phil, and The Doctors; All have hosted shows dedicated to the principles of mindful living for one simple reason, recent scientific studies from universities and medical facilities around the world have proven mindful living will help you both physically and psychologically.
Their findings include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Discovering more joy and happiness in your life
- Reducing your daily stress
- Improving your immune system
- Building stronger relationships with friends and family
- Putting more zip in your sex life
- Lowering your anxiety and frustration levels
- Having more fun on a daily basis
What is the time commitment for this no-cost method to improving the quality of your life?
Five minutes per day, ten if you are lucky.
Everyone is talking about mindful living so why isn’t everyone doing it?
The Answer is Simple
“Tell me what to do and I may remember. Show me what to do and I will never forget.” –B. Norwood
Q. How do you practice and learn to be mindful? Do I have to meditate? I don’t think I can do that s…t.
A. No, but meditation is something people often do after they learn the art of mindful living.
Q. Is this like a Yoga thing, I already work out at the gym?
A. No. Mindful living requires no physical exercise.
Q. Do I need to join a group or take a class?
A. Absolutely not. Some classes can be a nice experience, but many people just decide to start a mindful practice on their own.
Q. Is this something I have to study and learn before I can start?
A. No. You can just start practising mindfulness right away and learn as you go.
Q. It is starting to sound like I don’t have to do anything?
A. Not true, to learn to be mindful you have to practice, practice, and practice some more.
I knew if I asked enough questions I would find a catch.
Wow, I don’t know what to say. If five minutes a day to improve your life is a catch then you have a real problem and should probably throw away your toothbrush.
Q. So how do I practice mindfulness?
A. Keep a Mindful Journal.
A Mindful Journal is a personal journal to help you learn the basics of mindful living. Yes, it is a kind of book, but you don’t have to read it, in fact journals come filled with blank pages, so not to worry, no reading required.
Your Mindful Journal
Your Mindful Journal may be any size you prefer, but I suggest something no larger than a paperback book. You could set up a special text file on your your phone, or shove a small notepad in your purse or jacket pocket. Your Mindful Journal should be both small and convenient. Something you carry throughout the day, something you can’t help but notice a few times each day.
History of the Mindful Journal
Keeping a mindful journal was common practice among better educated people for several decades at the turn of the 19th century. The practice was popular equally with both men and women. Better educated just meant a person could read and write. As our society became busier and busier, the habit of keeping a mindful journal faded away from being a common practice.
Now society complains that our lives are too busy, we are constantly on the go, we don’t have time for such quaint indulgences.
Since the seven benefits I listed at the start of this article all seem to be the price we are paying for living our busy hectic demanding lives, maybe there is something to be learned by returning to this quaint five minute a day activity from Victorian times.
How to Keep a Mindful Journal
When the time is right, take a couple of minutes and do the following:
Right the date on the top of the page; Be sure to write the name of the day, for example, ‘Tuesday, April 18, 2017.’
In point form, answer the following three questions leaving lots of space between the three questions:
|1. Where did I go today?||Work, store, friends, movie, for a drive,…|
|2. Who did I see?||Spouse, co-worker, friend, waitress, chatty bus driver, homeless person,…
|3. What did I do?||Work, purchase, talk, share, encourage, get angry, smile, ignore,…|
Go back to each entry you made for each of the questions and answer the following three questions:
|1. Why?||To meet, purchase, retrieve, work, give,…|
|2. How was it?||Easy, hard, tiring, inspirational, challenging, exciting, frustrating,…|
|3. I am?||Happy, sad, grateful, tired, lonely, at peace,…|
Now you have it, the easy way to learn and practice mindful living. Will this simple five minute practice help you achieve all seven of the benefits I listed?
Absolutely, and even more benefits await you.
The Most Important Thing
There is just one extremely important, absolutely vital, totally required thing you must do, sit down with a coffee once a week and read what you have written in your journal for the past seven days. Write out a description of how your week went, and you have completed another week of mindful living.
Everything else you have wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about Mindful Living will come naturally to you.
If you are planing to start your own mindful journal, consider A Mindful Vow as your first exercise.
Read more about mindfulness in our blog post, Life in the Moment.
Feature photo by JerzyGoreckiShare this: