One of the most recurrent traps in which we tend to fall when we set goals (for example, before the start of a new year) is to assume that whether we achieve it or not will depend on the amount of time and effort we put into achieving it. of those tasks.
The reality is that if we do not learn to correctly manage our emotions and our focus of attention, we will end up throwing in the towel no matter how much we want to invest in a project. In many ways, less is more, for better and for worse.
Fortunately, there are currently therapeutic resources such as mindfulness that help us improve our chances of achieving our goals through efficient use of our attention, focusing on the present moment, and adopting a constructive perspective about the problem we want to solve or solve. the need we want to satisfy. In this article, we will see how it does it.
What is Mindfulness?
Let’s start with the most important: what exactly is Mindfulness or Full Attention? This term can be used both to describe a certain type of state of consciousness and the set of techniques and exercises used to reach it.
If we stick to the first meaning, Mindfulness can be summarized as a psychological state in which attention is directed exclusively to recognizing and observing the mental contents linked to the here and now, without getting involved in morally assessing them.
And if we stick to the second meaning, Mindfulness is a type of practice inspired by the ancient Vipassana meditation (with a great tradition among the followers of Buddhism and Hinduism), but unlike the latter, they have not been developed as a religious element. but as a scientifically validated tool with which objective therapeutic effects can be achieved (regardless of whether the person adheres to a religion or not).
How can mindfulness help you achieve goals?
What does Mindfulness have to do with, for example, New Year’s resolutions, the start of a new career path, or the desire to leave an addiction behind and start a healthy lifestyle from a certain date?
1. Helps curb avoidance tendencies
Many times, the fact of being under the pressure of having to achieve very ambitious goals causes us to fall into a dynamic of procrastination: as we feel a lot of stress before a complex or new task for us, we avoid starting or thinking about it, so that we let time pass and the problem becomes bigger and bigger. Mindfulness helps us deal with that pressure in a much more functional and adaptive way, without letting it intimidate us to the point of paralyzing us.
2. It makes breaks more useful
Although technically Mindfulness is a relaxation exercise, one of its consequences is that it usually leads people to a state of calm. This allows Mindfulness to be easily incorporated into rest routines between work or study sessions.
3. It allows us to do a “mental reset” in the face of blockages
It is very common that when we try to do something new to us, we reach a point where we can not think of how to continue to achieve our goal. In these situations we can feel so stressed that we give rise to what is known as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”: we suggest ourselves until we assume that a solution will not occur to us and that we will be unable to move forward so that this imagined reality ends up being fulfilled because we become obsessed with the fact of being in an apparent dead end.
Faced with these experiences, Mindfulness allows us to regain an objective perspective of what happens to us so that we can see everything from a more distant point of view and it is easy for us to take a few steps back to face the problem in another way.
4. Improves our self-esteem
Before a new project, the usual thing is that we go through many situations in which our imperfections become very evident: in certain points, we will lack experience, in others, we will lack technique, etc. These constant frictions between what we want to achieve and what we have learned to do so far are part of the process of personal and professional development, but if we do not manage it well, it will discourage us.
That is why Mindfulness is a valuable tool to achieve self-motivation since it will prevent us from falling into too pessimistic or “tragic” interpretations of reality in which all our attention is directed to our defects. It is important to be aware of what we are not perfect in, but we should not let it obsess us.