Written by: James Wilson, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
The concept of mindfulness is now a mainstream one. We’re all likely familiar with the definition of ‘bringing yourself back to the present moment when your mind is wandering back into the past, forward into the future, or onto anything that isn’t helpful or serving you'.
But is that enough to generate the experience of life you want? To create real change in your totally unique life? What if there was an extra dimension that enabled you to not only to be more present, but also concoct your personal recipe for happiness?
Here are three simple steps to personalize mindfulness, adding that extra dimension and finding the perfect recipe for you.
1. Get to know yourself, really well.
The first step is shifting from mindfulness to self-awareness. What I mean by that is becoming aware and conscious of your patterns and habits - seeing clearly what you’re thinking, feeling and doing moment to moment, as well as more holistically understanding if your current life is making you happy.
Why does this matter?
Well, your brain runs on patterns. That means the more you think a thought, feel an emotion or take action, the more likely you are to repeat it over and over again - to form your experience of life. In essence, we get what we’ve always done.
So, to break any unhelpful patterns, we need to first know what they are…and we can do this by dedicating 24 hours to self-awareness. Each time you notice thoughts, emotions or behaviors that don’t feel good or are unhelpful - just make a note on a piece of paper or on your phone to identify and label them.
What this will leave you after 24 hours is a clear idea of what you need to shift to increase your enjoyment of life day to day and find happiness.
Top tip - post-it notes stuck around your home can help to remind you to check-in with yourself!
2. Decide what you really want
In order to create real and lasting change, you need to know what you actually want, instead of what you’re currently experiencing. How often do we actually stop ask ourselves these powerful questions?
What would I love to be thinking day to day?
What would I love to be feeling?
How would I love to be behaving?
What kind of life do I dream of?
What are the things in life that leave me happier, more confident, inspired, calm?
Now is the time to do that, to really uncover what you want your experience of life to be. Remember to remove any limitations and boundaries created by self-doubt through this process, and adopt the mindset that you can have anything you want to.
Top tip: a journal can be a really great place to carry out step 2!
3. Take consistent action
Once you know what’s holding you back and what you want instead - it’s time to bridge the gap!
To explain how, I want you to think about your internal experience of life as an orchard. Once you’ve planted the seeds for what you want - you need to tend to them daily in order for those seeds to grow, to be nourished, to survive and to thrive.
So, if you want to be more present - you need to practice mindfulness and bring yourself back to the present moment consistently. If you want to be more confident - you need to practice being your own biggest supporter and giving yourself credit and praise for everything you do. If you want to be calmer - you need to practice getting into a calm state as often as possible and if you want more balance in your life - you need to start taking action towards balance every day.
This is where the real growth happens and you’ll be amazed at what can happen when you combine awareness and vision with action!
I hope that these 3 steps are the kickstart that you need in your journey to finding greater peace and happiness in your life. Be kind to yourself, enjoy the process and make it your own!
If you’d like to go a step further and gain even more powerful tools to nourish your personal vision and recipe for happiness, I’ve got a couple of slots left on my 121 coaching programmes, and would be delightful to be part of your transformation!
James Wilson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
James Wilson is an innovative Mind Coach and founder of Mind Switch - a business that empowers high achievers to overcome stress/anxiety and find balance - using the power of both the mind and the breath.
After periods of debilitating Chronic Fatigue & Pain that forced every aspect of his life to change, he knows first hand what it's like to feel like you constantly have to be doing, achieving and pushing - but also knows that it can come at a cost.
As a result, James has both studied and personally implemented powerful strategies to return the body and mind to a place of calm and ease.
He works both with both individuals and organizations (such as Kelloggs & GSK) to help people make their own transformative shift to a healthier, happier and more balanced life. The approach is personal, bespoke and all about empowering you - using a mix of tools rooted in NLP, Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Breath-work.