Practicing mindfulness can improve our productivity and cultivate a positive and uplifting mindset. In this post, Marianne shares how mindfulness helps in everyday life based on learnings from last Sunday’s service and research. She discusses the power of thoughts and the importance of being present. Marianne notes that the things we fill our minds with become our reality, and if we focus on negative thoughts, we gain negative feelings. She also provides tips on how busy parents can practice mindfulness, such as setting aside time to meditate, focusing on new thoughts, and watching internal dialogue.
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I had to lay low for a little bit on blogging and podcasting because of my transition. If you’ve been following along, you’d know I am currently studying full-time while juggling work and mom life. It is a big adjustment, but I think things are progressing well.
Today, I want to share how being mindful helps us in our everyday lives. Last Sunday, our pastor preached about the power of thoughts. I like that he started by telling us to focus on the moment, to not think about anything else but to engage our thoughts where we currently are. At that time, that was being at church. Listening to the preaching.
It’s human nature. How often have you been in a situation or a place, but your mind is elsewhere, thinking about other things? I’m not sure about you, but I am guilty of that. Whether doing Bible devotional or playing with my child, I often find my thoughts drifting and thinking about something else in advance. I think about the bills and wonder how I’ll finish my assignments before the weekend. But then, when I am in the moment to do those things, my mind goes somewhere else again. Does that ever happen to you?
We tend to fill our thoughts with many things that we are sometimes not present at the moment. We worry about many things instead of finding joy where we are.
Proverbs 23:7 ESV says, “for as he calculates in his soul, so is he..” and in the NIV translation, “for as he thinks within himself, so he is..”
The things we fill our mind with becomes our reality. If we think about negative things, we gain negative feelings. Many Bible verses support the power of our thoughts. According to Stanford researchers, the human mind also shapes our reality.
Although unrelated to mindfulness, most of the podcast shows I have listened to discuss how we could leverage being mindful to our productivity. I am inspired to share this episode because I am a fond believer that the reason we learn things is to share them with others as well.
Mindfulness involves bringing awareness to our senses and thoughts. According to mindful.org, mindfulness is being fully present and aware of our surroundings without being overly reactive or overwhelmed. While it is a natural ability, it can be improved through daily practice. Research suggests that training the brain in mindfulness can physically change the brain’s structure.
How can we apply this to our lives as busy parents who constantly juggle work and life?
Here are some ideas from our Pastor, Lindsey Burt, but I’ll add my thoughts.
First, if we put too much pressure on ourselves and worry about negative things, we must acknowledge it. Confess and surrender these thoughts to God as he cares about us – 1 Peter 5:7.
Second, we need to train our minds to be able to focus. Whether in the middle of bonding with your child, working on school assignments, or a new project at home, try to put all your attention into what you are doing, fully embrace the moment and focus.
Third, set aside time in your day to meditate. It doesn’t have to be in the morning if you are not a morning person. You can train your mind to meditate for at least 15 minutes daily. Something I have been practicing lately is doing a mid-day reset. Because I study and do house chores in the first part of my day, my mind and body get tired mid-day. So to refresh my mind before working at 3 PM, I meditate for at least 10 minutes.
Fourth, focus on new thoughts. If you always think negatively, catch yourself and replace your thoughts. Because of my added schoolwork, I noticed myself whining a lot about work when I used to love the work I did before. Instead of worrying about not being able to finish my tasks for the day, I try to shift my thoughts. Be grateful that, despite my hectic schedule, I am almost done with my current term. I learned a lot from both work and business school. This is not to say that you will ignore your negative feelings, but we focus more on what we can control versus what we cannot.This post was proofread by Grammarly
Have an outlet to offload. Write down your thoughts or have a brain dump on your phone to release negative or positive ideas and reflect on them during your downtime.
Lastly, watch your internal dialogue or watch what you tell yourself. Even though you can’t have it all, you can redirect your negative self-talk by acknowledging your achievements and strengths. Your actual reality is determined by what you choose to concentrate on. Shifting your focus can change your perception and transform your reality.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This verse from Philippians 4:8 encourages us to focus on positive and virtuous things and avoid dwelling on harmful thoughts. It is a call to cultivate a positive and uplifting mindset and seek out and celebrate the good in our lives and those around us.