Mindfulness for a Joyful Life
This post is written by Nevin DeCroo, a blogger and author on the topics of happiness and fulfillment. Nevin can be contacted through his website (nevindecroo.com), and further thoughts on mindfulness and joyful living can be found in his post called How to Live a Fulfilling Life.
Each of us holds in our minds the power to transform the quality of our lives instantly. Sounds too good to be true, right? I make the strong case, however, that it can be so. Mindfulness is the way to this joyful state of being.
People spend so much time with their minds adrift. However, living in this sort of way takes away huge chunks of joy and peace from your life. If you’re living on autopilot, you’re not there to experience and take in the sensations and moments of life.
How does mindfulness fix this? By enhancing the depth and quality of your experiences in life. If you are present enough to take in all the sensations you come across each day, you’ll find that life has so much more to offer than you could have thought.
This concept applies to the simplest things in life that you often probably take for granted. Think about a dinner you made for yourself, a conversation with another person, or a short walk around the block with your dog. These are all typical activities that you wouldn’t think much of. They happen every day.
There are two ways to go about these, though. You can brush over them and take them in on the surface level. Or you could immerse yourself through mindfulness and attentiveness to the sensations you are experiencing. Doing this transforms the mundane into the incredible. A regular meal that you savor without distraction becomes a culinary experience. That normal conversation becomes a point of deep interpersonal connection and shared love. And the morning walk becomes a chance to connect with nature and find deep peace.
Increasing Daily Joy
Happiness is typically thought of as the result of huge life accomplishments. Too often, feelings of joy are associated with the end goal rather than the journey. When people arrive at their destination, they find that joy is fleeting and unfulfilling. Why? Because the day-to-day was overlooked.
While attaining your major goals can feel great, you cannot afford to neglect the day-to-day as well. What happens each day is going to have a compounding, and therefore profound, effect on your subjective levels of joy in life. Days filled with mundane activities will compound into the perception that you’re living a mundane life. At the same time, days filled with moments of bliss will give you access to a perspective that you’re living a richly joyous life.
Movement between perspectives is quite subjective. It’s in your control. And if you use mindfulness to be fully present in the sensations and overall experience that the daily tasks and activities bring, you’ll find more enjoyment in them. The bland becomes a bit more interesting, and the fun becomes thrilling.
If you can find joy in the small aspects of life, then you’ll have so many avenues to find bits of happiness and contentment each day. Knowing this will bring excitement to you each day because you know that you have the valuable ability to elicit joy from your daily life, even if a particular day doesn’t contain anything grandiose. This sort of feeling and predictable and consistent. Best of all, it doesn’t rely on external forces. It’s entirely in your control.
So, how can you reasonably get started and bring about the benefits of this sort of mindfulness? Through a simple practice that starts with intention!
Understand that no matter where you are, there exists a path to better mental states.
Start by listing the things you do each day. Each typical day, that is. What are your routines and processes? What tasks and activities will you be doing? Writing this down and taking part in the audit will be helpful for the next step.
With the list of common activities in front of you, go through and pick three activities. Pick one that you are generally excited about, pick another that you tend to dread, and also pick something that you feel neutral toward.
For a week, make a distinct point of being totally mindful as you complete or perform these tasks. Strip away distractions and focus only on the sensations that come about as you do whatever it is you’re doing.
Mindfulness used in this way will create peace and highlight the bits of each activity that bring you joy. If you calm your mind and act from a peaceful state, you’re more likely to perceive what goes on as enjoyable.
Doing this for each of the three activities you chose will help you find the good in each and increase the satisfaction you derive from it. Perhaps it doesn’t transform the previously unenjoyable into extremely fun tasks, but it will allow you to view the task and what it brings in a more positive light.
After a week, check back in with how you feel about each of the tasks. Likely, you will view each more positively. At the very least, you’ll see that there are bits and pieces of each that you enjoy, even if it’s mundane.
If you apply this sort of mindset to all the things you have going on, your entire paradigm shifts toward joy and satisfaction. Mindfulness is the catalyst. You just have to habitualize it and take this intention with you in all you do.
Repeat this activity for all the tasks you do. Mindfully engaging with each will give you the ability to pull more joy out of each moment and increase your overall excitement and appreciation for life. By doing this, you’ll improve your overall feelings of joy and happiness without even changing the tasks you do. This is the amazing power of mindfulness at work!
No matter where you are now, a more enjoyable life is within reach. The outcomes are profound, but the path is astonishingly simple. Mindfulness, practiced with diligence, unlocks the gates to a life full of blessings and joy.
The only barrier is intention. You have to get clear on implementing a mindfulness practice. This will require sticking with it even as your attention and emotions naturally drift from time to time. But, with consistent investment in your mindfulness, the dividends will be richly paid in the form of a beautifully fulfilling life!
Nevin DeCroo is a blogger and author on the topics of happiness and fulfillment. Nevin can be contacted through his website (nevindecroo.com), and further thoughts on mindfulness and joyful living can be found in his post called How to Live a Fulfilling Life.