As defined by the Oxford Learner's dictionary, mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you.” It is an action that seems so simple but is yet so hard for many. But just like anything, the more you strive to have attitudes of mindfulness, the easier it becomes.
Keep in mind, when it comes to mindfulness, it is a “practice” so you’re not expected to get it perfect from the start. That said, let get into why having attitudes of mindfulness are so important and how to get started with cultivating those attitudes!
Why having attitudes of mindfulness can be challenging to some
Mindfulness can be challenging for some of us because society has forced us to be productive. If we’re not actively doing something, based on the view of society, we may think we are lazy and unproductive. As a result, it can be hard to take time for ourselves and just “be.”
It can also be hard because we live in a sometimes judgemental society. There is this impression that you have to wear the right clothes to fit in, make a certain amount of money, and have all the best material things. Society at large doesn’t seem to honor attitudes of mindfulness, so it often gets left by the wayside.
Benefits of having a mindful attitude
That said, people who practice mindfulness daily find themselves being kinder, calmer, and more patient. Mindfulness can also help you be more playful, enjoy others, and sleep better at night.
It improves mental health, physical health, and overall well-being. Having general attitudes of mindfulness can also help you deal with daily challenges and struggles we all face from time to time.
Core attitudes of mindfulness
When people ask about the core attitudes of mindfulness, certain characteristics come to mind. These are the universal core attitudes of mindfulness that we all need and can strive to work on every day!
Being non-judgmental (Top on the core list of attitudes of mindfulness)
It is human nature for us to judge, whether that is judging something as good or bad. However, it takes a lot of energy to judge every experience and encounter you have. Therefore, while practicing mindfulness, focus on letting go of the automatic judgments.
As humans, we aren’t perfect. It’s so easy to judge - even if you don’t mean to! We’ve all done it. If you start making a judgment, try to counteract it with a positive thought. Try to find something good about the person or situation and shift your mindset. It's all about practicing non-judgment to cultivate a peaceful mind.
One important factor of mindfulness is to be accepting of outside situations and of yourself. Look at any negative thoughts or judgment as a temporary state, then let them go or accept them. Although acceptance can be challenging at first, it can be freeing once you do it!
Patience is the ability to accept delay, trouble, or suffering without overreacting or getting upset. We usually do not notice the patient people in everyday life, but we always notice the impatient ones.
Think about the drivers rushing to get to work, the mom becoming agitated with her kids at the store, or the person annoyed with their co-workers. There are so many instances in everyday life that you can practice patience. Practicing patience by reframing a situation and accepting it can help create an attitude of mindfulness.
Trust is an important part of mindfulness. As mentioned before, becoming mindful is hard for many, and you have to trust yourself and the process. Trusting yourself and your ability to engage in mindfulness will help bring about acceptance, patience, and clarity.
Looking at things with fresh eyes
This essentially means that you go into a subject with a fresh mindset and with an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of predisposed judgment. When you look at things with fresh eyes, you can have more positive connections with others, be more creative, and be more open to possibilities.
Letting go is at the heart of mindfulness. When we can trust ourselves and let go of our judgmental thoughts, negative emotions, opinions, and beliefs, then we can truly be mindfully living. It's easy to let the past hold us back, but letting go is a part of growth.
Not trying to every control situation
By creating an attitude of not trying to control every situation, you are able to let go of any expected outcomes and just allowing things to fall as they will without an agenda. You also won't be forced to act based on your past experiences.
Part of this process is not focusing on the end result but on the process instead. Focus on the moment to moment and allow yourself to accept things as they are.
Being grateful and generous
Feeling grateful for your surroundings can create a sense of being alive. Gratitude and generosity go hand-in-hand because when we feel gratitude, we are more likely to be generous and want to share and give to others. Being aware and having mindfulness is a great way to foster more gratitude and generosity.
6 Exercises you can use to develop attitudes of mindfulness
It can take time to learn how to be mindful. So here are a few exercises to help you get started!
Practicing meditation can help you attain a mindful attitude. This is because mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand. Meditation involves using specific exercises to become aware of your body and environment. And mindfulness ties in because you are more aware of sensations, your emotions, and your thoughts when you meditate.
2. Take time for yourself
Whether you're a mom or simply a busy woman, it's essential to take some time out for yourself. Block out a spot in your day dedicated to just you and do something you enjoy. You could take up a hobby or simply take time out and do nothing.
3. Observe the moment
Take in all the senses of your surroundings: sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. It could be by sitting outside and listening to the birds or simply enjoying a cup of tea in silence. Ditch your phone, stay in the moment and be present. Being in the moment is definitely another way to build a mindful attitude.
4. Incoporate breathing to help develop your attitudes of mindfulness
Mindful breathing is one of the best exercises to practice attitudes of mindfulness. Mindful breathing exercises can reduce anxiety, negativity and may even provide pain relief. There are many different types of breathing techniques that can help you achieve a state of mindfulness.
5. Redirect your thoughts
It’s super easy for our thoughts to get carried away. I know that sometimes I replay the same thought in my head again and again. But this replaying of thoughts in your mind isn’t always beneficial. So, if this happens, practice redirecting your thoughts to the present moment and your surroundings.
6. Keep a gratitude journal to attain a mindful attitude
Sometimes things don’t really hit home until you see them in black and white. This is why keeping a gratitude journal can help you achieve a mindful attitude. When you list what you’re thankful for, your blessings suddenly become crystal clear. Try these journal prompts to get started!
Tips for incorporating attitudes of mindfulness in your daily routine
As you see, there are many benefits to practicing attitudes of mindfulness. As with any new routine, start small and work on finding ways to incorporate these new habits into your life. Here are a few tips to help you get started!
1. Check in with your body
Check in with your body throughout the day. Think about sensations you may be feeling mentally and physically. Bring your attention away from negative feelings and realign your attention to the present. Implementing breathing techniques is a great way to check in and help bring you back to the present.
2. Practice active listening (One of the most important attitudes of mindfulness)
When holding a conversation with others, give your full attention to what others are saying. Don't get distracted by phone notifications, and turn off the television so you can have a meaningful conversation. Don't forget to practice listening to yourself too!
3. Observe your surroundings
Throughout the day, whether you are at work or on a stroll outside, take a few minutes to stop what you are doing and observe your surroundings.
Think about some of the core attitudes of mindfulness: letting go of judgment, having acceptance of the things you can’t change, and being patient. Remember to take note of the small things like what you see, smell, hear taste, and touch.
4. Practice patience throughout the day
You can practice patience at work, at home, and even while driving. When you find yourself getting worked up, take a moment to assess the situation and consider your options.
Being patient is one of the best ways you can experience mindfulness. And, when you can be mindful of your situation, you can likely change it, so you are less stressed.
Start practicing these attitudes of mindfulness for a more fulfilling life!
When you practice mindfulness and adopt these attitudes of mindfulness, you’ll benefit in many ways. You’ll improve your well-being, develop greater connections with others, and you’ll be generally more grateful and generous.
Furthermore, when you can trust yourself and let go of judgment, accept outside situations, practice patience, and have a fresh mindset about ideas, then you can better manage your daily life and find more peace in life.
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