Master mindfulness like a turtle

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

As we all know by now, being mindful isn’t all about being silent, stopping your thoughts, or turning into Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda. It’s just being here. Now. In the moment. 

It is, indubitably, easier said than done. Here’s how to get it down.

—Three ways to master mindfulness—Three ways to master mindfulness—Three ways to master mindfulness—

It’s the O-D-P as you can see (*hip hop fans, I got you)

O

Observe

By observing, it needs to be exactly that. Just noticing what’s going on, without any opinion or judgement. The theory is, that if you can notice what’s happening before reacting - you’ll become more aware of your neural tendencies. Commonly, these can include obsession over certain scenarios, self-doubt, or distraction tactics. By observing, you can learn to quiet your mind to let thoughts pass. 

D

Describe

Describing to yourself what you are thinking and how you are feeling can give you invaluable space to process. That is so awkward to explain. Here’s an example. Instead of expressing your thoughts to yourself as, “Holy shit I am freaking out, there’s no way I can do this,” try reframing it as a description like, “I am feeling nervous at the moment because I have a lot of things to get done.” This helps you to understand and connect with the situation.

P

Participating

Whatever you’re doing, get stuck in. The act of losing yourself in a task or situation is about as mindful as it gets. With so much going on both inside and outside of our brains, it’s easy to find yourself on autopilot and just go through the motions, rather than fully engaging in it. Ever get home with no recollection of how you got there? 

Want to bring more mindful moments into your life? 

Try telling your other half or writing down your three fave moments of the day before you go to bed. Knowing that you’ll need to remember something should subconsciously remind you to stay present during the day.

Failing that - don’t take your phone everywhere. (One of these days I’ll take my own advice on this one). Having notifications constantly popping up would take even Master Oogway out of the moment.