In 2015 I had a few problems. I was troubled, I suffered from a lot of emotional flashbacks, a lot of emotional dysregulation. I struggled to function.

I had severe anxiety and paranoia. I was, according to my ex-wife mentally abusive. With my emotional dysregulation I can imagine, I must have been difficult to live with.

Something happened, it was a very very weird experience and it made me look at myself and I started looking for answers. First of all, I started looking at spirituality looking at things from people like Alan Watts. 

Learning about different philosophies and religions, Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism. I started looking into all these different philosophies and practising mindfulness, once I had watched every Alan Watts video I could find on YouTube. I decided to start studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Hypnotherapy but I still meditate and practice mindfulness daily.

What Is Mindfulness

So what is mindfulness and what’s the difference between being mindful and being mindless? Mindfulness is about experiencing the moment. It’s not about achieving any specific kind of outcome or feeling. It’s about experiencing everything as it is for what it is, it’s about living in the present. 

Mindfulness is not about experiencing some kind of blissful trance like state. It’s about observing everything and not judging, just accepting things as they are.

Mindfulness and Negative Self Talk

And I used to struggle a lot with my thoughts by practicing mindfulness I have been able to see all thoughts separate from me and I don’t judge any particular thoughts as good or bad, just accepting them and realising I am not my thoughts. By doing that I’ve been able to reduce negative self talk, and negative thoughts, I have also been able to get in better touch with my emotions and become more emotionally regulated.

So, being mindless is about being constantly controlled by thoughts and, as I say, I used to find my thoughts quite troubling and harassing, I suffered with a lot of flashbacks and a lot of rumination. 

I used to avoid going to public places by myself, because of flashbacks that used to make me black out, I wouldn’t know if I’d just been talking to myself for an hour. Mindfulness is about detaching, and stopping those things from overtaking us, and just being an observer of them.

It’s about being present and connecting to the present moment. It can be used to reduce stress, reduce anxiety and depression. That’s not the purpose of mindfulness, mindfulness has no specific purpose but it can still help with many issues, it improves focus and ability to concentrate.

Helps With Connection

Mindfulness enables you to be more emotionally regulated, to consider your reactions and how you react to situations. People who practice mindfulness generally have more empathy, more understanding for other people. More empathy can result in better relationships. It can also improve your health, people who practice mindfulness have a reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and it can even be used to help deal with pain.

Being mindful helps us to cultivate free will and increase our ability to act freely and spontaneously, to get in touch with our instincts, and two acts. Mindfulness enables us to be at cause, as opposed to at effect. So rather than being controlled by situations, we can actually get ourselves to the point where we can create the situations that we want.

If You Don’t Use It You Lose It

The thing with the modern world is we’re always being bombarded with different information. You know, Facebook and other social media platforms and these constant distractions reduce our attention span. If you don’t, you know, use awareness, you lose it and you become more and more easily distracted.

One of the biggest lessons that I took away from practising mindfulness is that there are many things that we can’t control. We can’t control situations, what the government is going to do, we can’t even control if we wake up in the mornings, the only thing that we can control is the way you react. So by giving up control, we become less attached to outcomes and less affected by situations. When we are less attached to outcomes, we can start to experience less stress, less anxiety and we can start to experience more positives and find a positive in all situations.

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