Why the Hell Should I Care About Mindfulness?

Katharine Chestnut
6 min readMay 12

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Hey, you! Yeah, you. Ever wondered why on earth you should care about mindfulness? Let’s dive into that topic, shall we? Trust me, it’s worth your precious time and attention, even though you might be skeptical right now.

You see, mindfulness is all about keeping yourself firmly rooted in the present moment, while being curious and compassionate about it. You might think I’m dishing out some fancy buzzword, but oh no, it’s more than that! Believe it or not, there are plenty of benefits to the practice of mindfulness, like helping you manage stress, anxiety, and even experiencing less pain.

Still not convinced? Then humor me for a moment, and imagine a world where you not only notice but also embrace those oh-so-annoying thoughts, emotions, and sensations instead of running away from them. How cool would that be? Come on, take the plunge with me and see what all the fuss is about!

Why Does Mindfulness Matter?

Alright, so you want to know why mindfulness should matter in your busy life? Let’s dive in and see what all the fuss is about.

To be honest, I stumbled across mindfulness quite by accident. When I started the painful journey of recovery from an abusive marriage, I looked for anything that would help relieve my cPTSD. I read books (#allthebooks), signed up for the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP), and came across Insight Timer. Some things worked better than others and then someone said I was practicing mindfulness. Doh? I had truly had no idea there was a single word to include all the things I was doing for self-care.

Science-Backed Benefits

What’s more convincing than a bunch of benefits proven by science? Let’s see what the smarty-pants researchers have discovered:

That’s just a taste of what mindfulness can help you with.

Real-Life Examples of Mindful Badasses

Science is cool and all, but how about some real-life examples? These mindful badasses show how it’s done:

How’s that for a variety of backgrounds for ya? These are just a few of the countless people who’ve reaped the rewards of mindfulness. Who knows, you might be the next mindfulness boss on the list!

Common Misconceptions About Mindfulness

You, my friend, might wonder why you should care about being mindful, thinking it’s all woo-woo and not for you. Let’s debunk the popular myths about mindfulness, shall we?

Mind-Reading Misguidedness

First things first, mindfulness doesn’t turn you into a mind reader. Contrary to some beliefs, it’s not about knowing what others are thinking (and seriously, did people actually believe this?). In fact, mindfulness is all about paying attention to YOUR present experience. It’s an opportunity to be in the moment with all your senses and not rummage around in someone else’s noggin.

The Chanting Craziness

Do you imagine sitting cross-legged, chanting strange words, and levitating off the ground when you think of mindfulness? Well, joke’s on you! Mindfulness doesn’t require chanting or any other peculiar rituals. As mentioned by Scientific American, mindfulness isn’t equivalent to meditation either. So, rest easy; no levitation or singing bowls required.

Not gonna lie, I do like singing bowls. Fer reals.

The No-Fun Fallacy

It might be surprising, but practicing mindfulness doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore. You won’t be sworn into a secret society of somber yogis. In reality, mindfulness helps you manage emotions and, guess what, that includes enjoying and appreciating the fun moments in life too! Mindfulness allows you to be more present, which can actually enhance your capacity for joy.

More Than Meditation

Mindfulness may be lots of things, and most certainly is much more than just meditation. While mindfulness meditation might the gateway drug for some, it’s not the be-al-end-all. And if you thought you knew all about meditation, well, here are some common misconceptions and some truths.

So, there you have it. If you thought mindfulness was about psychic powers, floating in the air, swearing off fun forever or sitting quietly for hours, now you know better. Take a chance, give mindfulness a try, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll be surprised!

Listen to my meditations on the free Insight Timer app OR YouTube 🧘

Simple Strategies for Mindful Living

Hey there! Let’s dive into some simple strategies to help you live a more mindful life. You’ll thank yourself later. 😉

B-A-B-A-B-A-B-A-Breathe

You’ve heard it before, but seriously, just breathe. In, out, in, out. When things get overwhelming, or even just plain boring, take a moment to take three deep breaths through your nose and out of your mouth. Feel the oxygen do the cha-cha-cha with your lungs. Not only will your brain get a refreshing boost, but you’ll also bring your focus back to the present moment. I honestly feel so amazing after takes a few deep breaths, I swear it’s like magic. 🪄

Here’s an easy meditation to catch your breathe.

Savoring Savory Moments

Stop right now and channel your inner foodie. Every time you enjoy a meal or a snack, take the time to genuinely savor it. I know you’ve heard this for years from Weight Watchers, dieticians and the like. You know it’s true. So do it! Close your eyes, take a bite or a sip, and let your taste buds dance like no one’s watching. Whenever you slow down and truly experience the food you’re eating — the tastes, the textures, and all things delicious — you’re practicing mindfulness, my friend.

Grateful Gushing Gratitude

All aboard the gratitude train! Toot toot! Being mindful means noticing the good things in your life, even the tiny ones, like finding that perfect parking spot or getting the last cup of coffee at work. Try this: every day, jot down three things you’re grateful for, big or small (there’s app for that! In fact, there are a flock of them). Make it a habit, and you’ll soon find yourself gushing with gratitude and feeling happier too. Now, that’s something to be thankful for.

There you have it — three easy-peasy strategies to help you embrace mindful living. Practice these, and you’ll be tangoing with tranquility in no time.

And in case none of these appeal to you, there are other ways to get the benefit of mindfulness. Here’s yet another list to look at to give you ideas and options.

You’ve Got This! Start Being Mindful, Dammit!

Alright, so you’ve made it this far, and you’re probably wondering what’s the big deal about mindfulness? Well, it turns out being mindful can, as we’ve read above, significantly improve your life in many ways. Let’s cut to the chase and get you started on this crazy mindful adventure, shall we?

First off, you need to know that mindfulness is like a secret superpower you never knew you had. It can help you manage stress, react better to challenging situations, and even improve your relationships with others (who wouldn’t want that?) Plus, it’s pretty simple to practice mindfulness exercises, like focusing on your breath or trying a body scan meditation.

But wait, there’s more (I promise, no cheesy infomercials here). By being mindful, you’re training your brain to be more present, focused, and aware. That means you’ll be less likely to zone out during those riveting work meetings or miss the punchline of your buddy’s hilarious joke. Plus, mindful communication makes you more empathetic and compassionate, which means people will probably like you more (and who doesn’t want that too?).

So, how do you get started? Glad you asked! There are tons of resources out there to help you on your mindfulness journey, like guided meditations, expert advice from folks like Jon Kabat-Zinn, and even mindfulness apps you can download straight to your phone.

And remember, I stumbled across Insight Timer and found it an easy way to start a mindfulness meditation practice. Little did I know I would fall head-over-heels in love with mindfulness.

Remember, nobody’s perfect, and a mindfulness practice takes time (just like everything else in life — although, sometimes I only have a minute). The key is to start small and put in the effort every day. Before you know it, you’ll be a mindfulness master, and people will wonder how you got so damn good at handling life’s curveballs.

Originally published at https://katharinechestnut.com on May 2, 2023.

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Katharine Chestnut

From the world of marketing and sm biz, to self-care and wellness practices. She is committed to help others discover their wisdom. katharinechestnut.com