Practicing mindfulness brings a sense of peace to your life because it provides speed bumps to slow down your racing mind. The trick to mindfulness is being kind. We are mostly mindful, all of the time, naturally. Any thought that we notice is an act of mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness is just noticing that we are noticing our thoughts and remembering to be compassionate. When we notice ourselves noticing our thoughts, the thoughts slow down a little bit and become more manageable. When we remember that we are observing thoughts we can also remember to be kind and compassionate.
Like speed bumps in residential neighborhoods compassionately bring awareness to speeding drivers to remind them not to run over children, practicing mindfulness can slow down your thoughts and stop them from hurting you or others.
Without mindfulness, when you feel a sense of unease, worry, anger or sadness, the thoughts that automatically follow one another can run you over. If you are feeling lonely, you may think, I wish so and so were here, I wish anybody were here, I’m so lonely, who would want to be with me, I don’t want to be with me, I’ll always be lonely, and so on until you are truly miserable.
When you practice mindfulness and notice a feeling of sadness, you recognize the feeling and then see what sad thoughts are following. If you are sad because you are lonely, you may see yourself thinking, I wish so and so were here, then there is a pause as you notice that thought. In that pause you can take a breath and feel a moment of compassion for yourself for being lonely and a bit of love for the person you are missing. The sad feeling doesn’t just evaporate, but it doesn’t need to, you can handle it.
Mindfulness is always there for you. Peace is always near at hand when you take some extra time to look for it. When you notice yourself suffering, that is a good time to look for peace. Go slowly, small children at play.