Bryan Dijkhuizen

How To Start Living a Mindful Life (After Being Stressed For Years)

I’ve had stress. Still do.

It’s a feeling that never goes away, stress will haunt you. You can mask it but never delete it from your system. It’s terrible. You thought after high school that you would live the life of your dreams and be free of stress.

Usually, the opposite is true. 

People tend to do the things that are expected of them instead of doing what they love and making them happy. 

That makes them (evidently) unhappy.

In this article, I’ll discuss why you should and how to start living a mindful life.

Figure out the life you want

This is a little cliche. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

First, you need to know what you want. If you don’t know what you want, you’re not going to end up in a happy place.

I used to think that meditation and all other mindfulness strategies were going to solve all the problems I had. That’s not the case. They are tools that you need to apply yourself.

But to know which tools you need, you’ll need to figure out your destination.

Setting goals is one of the things you need.

But don’t try to overwhelm yourself, they need to be realistic. Setting smaller goals will often help you a lot more than setting big targets that you aren’t going to achieve.

That will only demotivate you.

Instead, set small goals that you will achieve and you’ll get a confidence boost out of that.

Understanding the needs of your body & mind

There’s no one size fits all solution in the mindfulness life.

You need to have a pretty good understanding of what your options are. In this article, I’m going through a couple of them that have worked for me.

When you’re having a lot of anxiety and stress, there are a couple of things you can do. 

  1. You need to find out why you’re stressed and see if you can take that stress away without anything else.
  2. If you can’t and it’s a more fundamental type of anxiety you need to find a way to take that stress away.
  3. In some cases, you can’t take stress away for the short term, that’s when you try to mask it.

Now, I’ll give you three ways to reduce stress:

If you want to get into Meditation, you can download my free meditation guide right here.

Mindfulness as a lifestyle, philosophy

If you’re familiar with mindfulness, you know that for example, Stoicism has a lot of overlap with it.

Getting in touch with yourself is only possible when you stop caring about the opinions of others.

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” — Marcus Aurelius

What is Stoicism?

Stoicism is a philosophy that originated in the ancient world. Stoicism teaches that we should focus on the things we can control, accept the things we can’t control, and live in accordance with nature.

How to apply

  1. Focus on what you can control: The Stoics believed that it’s essential to focus on what we can control and accept what we can’t control.
  2. Practice self-discipline
  3. Practice gratitude
  4. Practice negative visualization: The Stoics encouraged us to imagine the worst-case scenario and prepare ourselves mentally for it.

If you want to learn more about Stoicism, you can check out this article of me here.

A short summary of it: 

Stoicism is a phenomenon I learned about when I was just about the most stressed person on earth. I wasn’t comfortable in my skin, my studies weren’t going well and I almost had financial problems.

In short, something had to change.

It was also around that time that I started to immerse myself in spirituality, mindfulness, and thus Stoicism.

In this crazy world, it is sometimes necessary to take a break. Stoicism is one of the best techniques for achieving this.

Final Thoughts

By applying these techniques it is possible to live a more mindful life and become happier, less stressed, and more self-aware.

Maybe it doesn’t work straight away, that’s possible. But if you practice something mindful every day you can find out what works for you. 

I’ll be publishing a lot more about becoming mindful and just a better human in general on my profile and in my newsletter.

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