What does self-discipline mean?
Self-discipline means that you have the ability of knowing what actions you need to take for your own best interest. Regardless of your emotions in the moment.
Some examples of exercising self-discipline may be going to your 7am lab classes when you don’t want to go.
Self-discipline is not going for second servings and sticking to your diet.
Self discipline is sticking to your bedtime schedule. Just engaging in low-stimulating activities like reading to ensure healthy sleep hygiene; even when you'd rather be on IG or watching YouTube videos.
There’s no way to fight it. Your brain will betray you in a heartbeat.
It’s happy when you participate in low-level goals and activities.
However, come time to participate in higher-level more challenging tasks... then we’re asking too much of the brain apparently.
The brain will flood your senses with unhelpful thoughts and physical responses such as: heightened hearing, that random itch in the center of your back, impacted sense of smell (can’t even smell coffee brewing), or thinking about how many clean shirts you have left in your dresser before laundry day.
Ta da! Introducing mindfulness. Available now for an evergreen price of free-ninety-nine.
So, what is mindfulness anyways?
Mindfulness is when you take control of your personal thoughts and make a conscience effort to become more aware of your senses, surrounding and life overall.
You might be thinking to yourself right now:
“What is Tee talking about. I am aware. I know what I am thinking at all times. I know about life since I'm living it now, how could you not be aware when you’re alive” ?
That answer is wrong.
When you’re working out for example and walking up a hill. You should be focused on your breathing and foot placement but oftentimes you’ll be thinking about your upcoming seven-
day vacation plans, about preparing family dinner for tonight…or thinking about that time in middle school when that kid Mikey the meanie tripped you in front of your crush at the school dance.
If you’re filling your days with thinking about all kind of random things, then you’re going to miss out on enjoying your life completely.
You’ll miss the sensation of the sand beneath your feet, miss out on the sound of the rain tapping against your windowpane.
You will miss out on so many powerful sensations because you were stuck inside your own head and world.
This is far from being aware or mindful.
When you are practicing mindfulness, you are brought back full circle into awareness.
You’ll need to use self-discipline and make a conscience effort to remain focused on only helpful thoughts and sensations.
Let’ say you’re upset or maybe even angry. Let’s say you’re excited about a co-workers annual new year’s eve party, but then you hear you weren’t invited this year. She decided to keep the gathering small and only invite 10 people, and you weren’t one of them. What would you do?
Well, there are a few things that may physically happen to you. Maybe your heart rate speeds up. Maybe your blood pressure shoots up and you start breathing heavily. You may even begin to feel warm and start sweating. Maybe even vibrate with disbelief.
Most people face challenges trying not to act on their emotions once they feel how they do.
If you act on your emotions, then you complete the cycle of giving into the negative behaviours.
We need to pay attention to the cycle and break it.
We want to train the brain to feel the physical sensations but not act on them. We don't need the next steps being a verbal attack against that co-worker for their personal choice.
Truly mindful people have buffers and they decide their reactions at every opportunity.
They are in-tune with their minds, bodies and spirits.
Mindful individuals are able to pickup on physical cues to fully tap into all sensations. This mindfulness allows the individual to gain power over these sensations and choose not to react.
By using self-discipline, you separate yourself from these unhelpful sensations. By using self-discipline you know that these sensations are not you so you don’t need to pay attention or react to them.
Cognitive flexibility allows you to navigate through your emotions like you’re dodging bullets in the matrix.
You see the perceived threat to your mind/body, analyze it and choose to swiftly move away
because of the self-discipline that we have been talking about so far.
When you’re playing checkers you don’t just randomly jump over opponents and collect the pieces. There are rules and you need to analyze the entire board and then work from there to try and make your best moves.
The same thing applies to acting on mindful thoughts and actions. It’s extremely helpful to maintain high self-discipline while living your life.
Self-discipline helps you with the stillness needed to see and feel things that you normally
wouldn’t be able to notice about yourself.
Things we take for granted like breathing, thinking, touching, smelling, seeing will have a deeper meaning to us because of mindfulness.
You’ll be able to think first then react instead of the other way around.
The real question is how do we practice mindfulness today? Right now?
See, the most optimal way to practice the art of mindfulness is to meditate but you could still be mindful without it.
How you ask?
when you tap into heightened awareness of people, places or things you are practicing mindfulness.
When you are aware of your anxiety rising you are practicing mindfulness.
Focusing on your breathing and using your diaphragm to breath deeply and cleanse yourself of stress then you are being mindful.
When you take off your socks and place your bare feet on a hard surface to feel stability then you are practicing mindfulness.
Live in the moment by being receptive and open to all sensations. By paying attention to our bodies sensations, thoughts and reactions will help sharpen your mindfulness.
How do you practice mindfulness in your daily life? Leave a comment below and add to the conversation!
- You are amazing for reading today's post and thank you for your support :)
- Articulate Tee