Photo credit: USH via Google Search

I have only heard of and got interested in mindfulness in recent years when there have been so many events occurring in my life. There were points I was so lost, scared, anxious, stuck, frustrated and unhappy with my life. I needed to get away and restart my life. I have learned to breathe, to walk, to be calm, open and vulnerable, to embrace and observe my thoughts and emotions. I have learned to feel them and let them flow, not oppress them nor succumb to them. I have learned to live with myself.

I have learned to breathe, to walk, to be calm, open and vulnerable, to embrace and observe my thoughts and emotions. I have learned to feel them and let them flow, not oppress them nor succumb to them. I have learned to live with myself.

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

___ Psychology Today

It is not easy for me in the first place to really grasp the meaning of mindfulness. At first, I thought it was about trying not to think and just focus on my breathing. Apparently, I failed because there are always like a million different thoughts in my head. The harder I tried to get rid of them, the crazier they got in my mind.

However, when I gave up trying to control them, I felt a sense of relief and calmness. My thoughts and emotions were still there of course and I was still feeling it. The only difference was I did not react to it, I observed it with my rational mind, and then embraced it and accepted it with my heart.

The harder I tried to get rid of them, the crazier they got in my mind. However, when I gave up trying to control them, I felt a sense of relief and calmness. My thoughts and emotions were still there of course and I was still feeling it. The only difference was I did not react to it, I observed it with my rational mind, and then embraced it and accepted it with my heart.

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Photo credit: Sideways Thoughts via Google search

How does that work you may ask? How do you observe your thoughts and emotions when they are inside you? The thing is it takes some practice. At times of crisis, I just want to be alone and have some quiet to myself. I often go for a drive or a walk, meditate or read, write, whatever it is I feel like doing, but I need to be by myself. And I would just use all of my senses to live the moment, what I am hearing, what I am seeing, what I am thinking, etc. I wouldn’t try to control anything, if I write, I wouldn’t care about spelling mistakes or anything, I would just jot down whatever comes to my mind. I would just let my mind wander to wherever it wants and I would pay attention to what I suddenly think about. If I am upset about something, I would just cry and cry until I let it all out. I would feel the emotions I am feeling but at the same time, I try to understand why and how I am feeling like this.

I often go for a drive or a walk, meditate or read, write, whatever it is I feel like doing, but I need to be by myself. And I would just use all of my senses to live the moment, what I am hearing, what I am seeing, what I am thinking, etc.

I wouldn’t try to control anything, if I write, I wouldn’t care about spelling mistakes or anything, I would just jot down whatever comes to my mind. I would just let my mind wander to wherever it wants and I would pay attention to what I suddenly think about. If I am upset about something, I would just cry and cry until I let it all out. I would feel the emotions I am feeling but at the same time, I try to understand why and how I am feeling like this.

I would just let my mind wander to wherever it wants and I would pay attention to what I suddenly think about. If I am upset about something, I would just cry and cry until I let it all out. I would feel the emotions I am feeling but at the same time, I try to understand why and how I am feeling like this.

However, it is not that I can only be mindful when I am alone. Anyone can be mindful at anytime, anywhere, with anybody, while doing anything. I just started my practice with being by myself. When I am in a group, I would be mindful of what is going on around me. What are they doing? How is the person in front of me feeling?

Many of us, when we are doing something, we would be thinking about something else; because of that we normally miss out what is going on around us and we don’t give our full attention to our present. When I am mindful around others, I learn to be patient and understanding. I would listen to understand and not to reply.

I still feel I have a lot to learn about mindfulness because I myself sometimes I lose it and react hastily without being mindful of myself and others. However, I have learned a great deal of myself from being mindful and it has changed me in every way and I want to lead an even more mindful life and be more open and compassionate to myself and others.

We humans sometimes are so harsh on ourselves, we always try to buy things that we don’t have, we force ourselves to do things we don’t want, we criticize ourselves and others around us. We put pressure on and limit ourselves and others. If only we could be happy with ourselves, our present, if only we could be more compassionate and kinder to ourselves and others, what a beautiful world it would be?

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Posted by:Hanh Lam

I am a young Vietnamese woman with a passion for development work and social change, a desire to explore the world and a love for storytelling.

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