5 Simple Mindfulness Sayings that will Change Your Life

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake…” – Francis Bacon

It can be difficult to integrate mindfulness exercises and practices into the general attitude that you express on a daily basis. Mindfulness exercises are excellent ways to intentionally cultivate a more present, open, and accepting stance toward your internal and external experiences. Your internal – or private – experience consists of thoughts and emotions, whereas your external – or shared – experience relates to interpersonal interactions and events. When there is harmony between your inner and outer “worlds” you are likely to feel a greater sense of ease and congruence between how you think and feel with how you behave.

Simple Mindfulness Sayings

If you are experiencing a sense of disconnection between the way you feel while engaging in mindfulness exercises and the way you feel while going about your daily routine, consider integrating these simple mindfulness sayings into your day:

(1) “I don’t know.”

The awareness of ignorance is a far greater sign of wisdom than purported knowledge. Maybe you know someone in your own life who seems to have the answer to everything… or maybe that person is you. The point is not to label a “know it all” as good or bad. The idea is to recognize the value of taking a step back from situations and examining them with curiosity and neutrality… and without judgement. The act of accepting the unknown is a demonstration of strength that offers opportunities for growth, knowledge, and awareness.

(2) “I was wrong.”

This is a tough one for many people. If you’ve struggled with verbalizing this sentiment before, take a moment to ask yourself what core beliefs you have about what it means to be wrong. It’s likely that the notion of being wrong has assumed a negative valence… in other words, it’s bad. No one wants to be wrong… right? In fact, the willingness to authentically say when you are wrong can lead to greater harmony in relationships. It takes energy to continually operate from a defensive stance. Letting go of the need to be right is liberating.

(3) “I made a mistake.”

Pause to ask yourself what you believe it means to say that you made a mistake. How about a big mistake? Everyone makes mistakes… really. What matters is your willingness to confront, rather than avoid, the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings associated with making that mistake. This type of experiential avoidance is yet another way that defensiveness can unnecessarily drain your energy. Take a look at your own mistakes, however big or small, and make an honest appraisal of what went wrong. Let go things out of your control and actively change that which is within your control. After all, holding on tightly to control expends more energy that releasing your grip.

(4) “It happens.”

It’s understandably frustrating when things don’t go your way. When something BIG doesn’t go your way, it might even feel infuriating. Resisting the reality of events in life doesn’t change a thing… except the level of unnecessary suffering you are creating for yourself. Instead of getting lost in a tailspin of lamentations or rage, choose to practice radical acceptance. You don’t have to like what has happened and you certainly don’t have to approve of it in order to accept it. When you accept reality just as it is, you can move forward.

(5) “How can I help?”

Notice the distinction between asking if you can help and how you can help. When you ask how you can help, you are acting from the assumption that you’re perfectly capable and willing to help. This is a way that you can infuse mindful awareness into the process of offering another person the kind of help they really want or need. Respect and sensitivity are embedded within this simple adjustment to offering help. As you begin to exude this attitude toward others, you might just be surprised to see how it returns to you in your life.

Challenge yourself to operate from a more mindful stance by beginning to integrate these simple mindfulness sayings into your daily experiences. Observe how subtle changes in the way you verbalize your reactions to internal and external events change the way you feel and how you are perceived by others.

Perhaps you notice that one of these sayings is especially difficult for you to practice… if so, that’s great! Practice that one first. If you cringe the first few times you do it, that’s a good sign to just keep it up. Notice how your level of discomfort diminishes each time you say you’re wrong when you really are… say you made a mistake when you really did… or say you don’t know when you really don’t.

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Al-Mowasi, H. [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://tinybuddha.com/blog/5-expressions-for-mindful-living/

Featured image: 268/365 – Default State by Helga Weber / CC BY-ND 2.0

About Laura K. Schenck, Ph.D., LPC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Some of my academic interests include: Dialectical Behavior Therapy, mindfulness, stress reduction, work/life balance, mood disorders, identity development, supervision & training, and self-care.

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