Some people just seem to be in tune with the world. You know the type: they’re always smiling and happy, laid-back and worry-free, and they’re always sipping colorful juices or kale-green smoothies. When you read up on the latest and greatest natural diets and whole foods, the selection seems dizzying and complex; when they get into it, it seems to be second nature to them. How do they do it?
The key, of course, is in their attitude – specifically, in their mindfulness. Conscious living is all about taking life for what it is and embracing the ways in which nature has provided for us. That means knowing a bit about eating well and having an interest in natural supplements, sure, but the desire to live consciously has to come from within. It has to come from your attitude and your mind.
So if you want to feel as pure and healthy as your kale smoothie-slurping friends, start within. Start with mindfulness.
Mindfulness: awareness, calm, and your mental health
Mindfulness is a term that is used in ways both specific and loose by a variety of movements, philosophies, and religions. But we can generally say that mindfulness is about recognizing yourself and your place in the world. To many, that means recognizing your own insignificance and just how unimportant your desires are; to Buddhists and others, desires are things to be let go of so that true happiness can be achieved. To others, mindfulness may mean recognizing the impact we have on the environment, or on our family, or on our community. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself what mindfulness means in your life. All that matters is that it means something significant to you and that it gives you a sense of who you are – so that you can make peace with that sense.
There’s a lot you can do on your own to practice mindfulness. Focusing on the most immediate things in your life is a common tactic, for instance: try to ignore your worries and your future and really pour yourself into something simple that’s right before you. The next time you do dishes, focus on it entirely; the next time you eat, do nothing but eat (no TV, no working lunch, etc.) and focus on the sensation of eating.
In some ways, this practice is similar to meditation – another popular mindfulness technique. How you choose to meditate is up to you. There are Buddhist meditation techniques, of course, but there are also guided meditations, Christian meditations, and much more. Choose the one that you like best.
Not everything about a calm mind is achievable on your own. Sometimes you need help. Don’t be afraid to turn to a psychiatrist or a psychologist for help with your mental health! If you don’t want to use pharmaceuticals or other traditional medical solutions, you can still turn to art therapy and other chemical-free options. You can even take art therapy courses online!
Live in harmony, and love doing it
With the right attitude, living naturally is fun and easy. When we’re not at peace, we view the latest diet and supplement trends as challenges – are we up to date? Are we doing the right things? But, of course, this isn’t how mindful people approach the use of natural supplements, natural medicines, “superfoods,” and other health trends. Try to experience the joy that comes with using nature’s bounty to improve your health, and don’t stress about the details. It’s enough that you’re trying to live your healthiest life, and if you truly enjoy eating well, you’ll soon find that you pick up the details of the latest health movements as a matter of course – you’ll swap tips with like-minded friends and fellow shoppers at health food and whole food stores, you’ll find yourself on blogs with information and health products, and you may even do research yourself.
It will all become second nature to you, just as it has for your health-savvy friends. That’s the benefit of looking at natural health with a clear head, an optimistic heart, and a habit of mindfulness. Mindfulness lends itself to a more conscious lifestyle – one of generosity, environmentalism, health, and happiness.