If you have 5 minutes, You can practice mindfulness!

Kia Ora Whanau!

Alex from Costas Enterprises here and today I would like to provide you with a very simple way of starting your mindfulness journey.

“But Alex, I don’t have enough time to meditate, plus I don’t want to do any hippie type, ohmmmm thinking stuff!” – I presume you say!

Well I am here to tell you that I have created a little PDF to help ease you into to some mindfulness.

So lets start with the obvious question shall we?

What The F&*k is mindfulness? Will it cause me to get 5G Like the virus?

Well no, obviously not – Mindfulness… for those still with me, is defined as per the below:

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” – defined and explained in more detail here.

Uh what are you on about?

Mindfulness is a practice and a state of being. For me it’s how I control my emotions.

Ok let me explain how I use mindfulness – I am still not an expert but I have found it greatly helps me. I use the essence of mindfulness to slow down my thoughts, accept and acknowledge my feelings and work on sorting out any emotional things I am going through. Anger, Sadness, Anxiousness and all other fun emotions.

I also use mindfulness to further structure my day, week, month and even my year. I use it to help me find the good in my life when the walls feel like they are crumbling and it all feels like it’s getting a bit stressful.

So it’s like meditation? Doesn’t that like hurt your legs?

Um … no my legs are fine, in fact I don’t even meditate, there is no special yoga poses or anything like that associated with mindfulness. A big part, however is controlling your breathing and learning to live in the moment.

Ok but doesn’t it take like 1 hour? That’s too long

Well … see that’s what caused me to create the PDF at the end. I am giving you a basic intro into mindfulness and it’s only going to take you five minutes.

If your prepared to go on a journey and keep your mind open then I hope I can explain the PDF to you.

Five Minutes That Can Potentially Change Your Life

Did I catch your attention? This is not click bait – If you are prepared to try mindfulness out then this five minute session could start to change your life. If not, you tried something new for once.

So when you download the PDF and open it you can refer to this article for more information.

Before you begin – What you need to bring/ prepare!

Basically – nothing, download the PDF and read this article before you start your journey. Keep an open mind and follow the steps.

Each step is outlined as a one minute activity – but this is a very basic guide. If you want to spend more time on a step you can.

Step One – Close your eyes and breathe deeply

We begin with life’s most precious gift, air.

With mindfulness I always start by closing my eyes and breathing deeply.

To breathe deeply, effectively you can do the following exercise:

  • Breathe in for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds
  • Slowly breathe out for four seconds

Now I know I said you should do this for one minute, but to start you don’t have to hold for four seconds for too long, but if you can control your breathing for the full five minutes you will get a lot more out of mindfulness.

This is because the breathing in and out will hopefully help you de-stress as you exhale. It is important that you are slowly breathing out. Think of playing a control game as the breath leaves your lungs.

If you are doing step one correctly you should feel all your tensions starting to disappear.

After your first minute, you can move on to step two.

Step Two – Acknowledge All Thoughts

Um … what do you mean?

Ok so this will sound a little weird but let me try and explain it. While you are doing your breathing and starting to get into a relaxed state you will find that your mind starts to wander off and start thinking about all the different things going on in your life, maybe it might direct you to the fact that one of the lines in this article sounds similar to that line in the Friends theme song.

It could be that negative doubt that your subconscious wants to get your attention, it might be that mobile game that keep beckoning you, but whatever it may be, what you need to do now is when these thoughts start to surface, you need to acknowledge them and let them go.

This is one of the most important parts of mindfulness as this step will help you focus on breathing. Your first and only thoughts while practicing mindfulness should be “Breathe in and Breathe out”.

Um stupid question but how are you supposed to “acknowledge” a thought and then forget it?

Glad you asked, by acknowledging the thoughts (either positive or negative) you are effectively taking the power away from these thoughts and you are taking control of your actions (your deep breathing). You are starting to learn how to live in the moment, specifically live in your moment!

Once you can start to let these thoughts go you are set to take on step three.

Step Three – Move That Bus … I Mean Release Those Thoughts

So by step three you should have noticed by now that actually these steps are all interconnected and that you can’t complete each step without using the first two. Congratulations young Padawan! you are ready to move on to training with master Yoda in the Dagobah system.

Step three is all about taking those acknowledged thoughts and releasing them.

This is easier said then done as sometimes those thoughts that pop in might be from past experiences that made you feel bad, or they might be your subconscious trying to undermine/ sabotage you.

Now the whole point of this step is to deal specifically with those negative thoughts. This is because these thoughts will not only distract you but they may linger and deter you from wanting to reach your ultimate goal of being the greatest and most mindful person alive (queue maniacal laughter).

But seriously, how do you remove these thoughts from your head? Well I am gonna be upfront with you. You can’t completely remove these thoughts. They will always be a part of you until you seek professional help to resolve some underlying issues you may need to address.

Wait! Don’t stop reading just yet, hope is not yet lost trust me! What you can do is focus on releasing the thoughts you acknowledge on your next exhale.

The way this was originally explained to me was to imagine these thoughts as falling leaves falling into a river.

You see the river is your state of mind and each leaf is a thought that pops up (be it positive or negative) and too many leaves that fall in your river will cause your mind to flood. We don’t want that right? So we have to take those leaves and with our wind (breath) we exhale these thoughts so they don’t affect our river.

What I am trying to say is when a thought that comes in starts to fall in the river and distract you – you need to let that leaf make like a tree and f&*k off out of your river.

This takes practice, but when you can start to master this then you will be doing a one handed handstand while you levitate rocks and a X-Wing using nothing but medichlorienes in your blood … I mean The Force.

Ready for Step Four?

Step Four – Practice Gratefulness

What are you grateful for? This step is all about focusing on the positive in your life and and noticing what you feel when you think of these things.

Basically what makes you want to keep on living life to the fullest? Is it your partner? children? parents? that amazing once in a lifetime trip that made you realize what you want to do with your life? That job that makes you get up in the morning?

Yes all of these are the things we are supposed to think when practicing gratefulness and gratitude but these are not the only things. You might be grateful for that cup of coffee that was made by your fav coffee shop, or it could be that nice old lady that gave you a giant red apple for no apparent reason.

My point is that in this step you don’t have to appreciate only the really big things, you can also appreciate something simple as the warm sun on your face with the breeze in the air.

Just be grateful and give thanks for being alive.

Now gratefulness is one thing but now is also a time for your to show some gratitude in your mind to people, animals, experiences that have helped you get to this state. Take a moment to recognize the things in your life that make you feel like living because after your mindfulness journey you may want to reach out and give back in any way.

After you have all the fuzzy feelings now you can move on to the last and most important step.

Step Five – Live In Your Moment

Congratulations! You are in the final stretch of your first (of hopefully many more) mindfulness journey(s).

This last step is about living in your moment.

Now you may be asking why did I say in “your” moment as opposed to in “the” moment, well I like to think that as you are on this journey and you have been breathing, acknowledging your thoughts, releasing your thoughts and remembering what makes you grateful to be alive its now up to you to start really living your life.

Living in your moment is being completely and utterly in your own state of being and mind, that you start to see things a little different. You are no longer controlled by other’s influences/ actions or your own emotions.

Now I am not saying this will lead you to Nirvana, but it can help you get to a further place of peace in your own mind.

You will also find that some mindfulness can help you better think of a difficult situation or decision you need to make and can help you get more clarity.

Ok that was pretty enlightening I guess I’ll check out your PDF

Well thanks for making it this far, I hope this guide and also this PDF helps you further your journey and is helpful.

Feel free to share this around and email me on my contact details.

I do cover more of these subjects on my Get A Job And Get Healthy With Costas Enterprises podcast.

Please find the PDF below and as always thanks for reading and good luck!

Alex

PDF – 5 Minutes of Mindfulness

Weight Loss Journey … Ready, Mind-set, Go!

Kia Ora Whanau

Alex here from Costas Enterprises and today I’m going to talk about mind-set (and I apologies in advance as it’s a long one).
I am going to continue to post my updates but I also want to focus on what I notice and do. I will also keep my monthly posts going as well where I cover off everything.

Mind-set

I want to continue to be honest with all of you. My mind-set needed to change before I even considered losing weight … or even wanted to.

Also a little disclaimer before we go down this rabbit hole.
This post is going to be a little hard for me to write as its going to mean I have to face some serious truths about the way I was and address them in public. It will also be quite long, but I hope you will stick with me!

The way I was

Ok so in-case you haven’t you yet, you may want to read my previous post about my history.

I have spent years deluding myself. I lied to myself about how I was.
You see, I lied to myself and everyone when they asked if I was OK.

I was not ok.

For those that know me I have had an interesting history. Things have happened in my life that have made me both grow up fast and at the same time also revert into a child-like state.

I hope I can get into a place where I can share more about that in the future and I truly believe raising this issue of mind-set will start me on the right path.

I was lying to myself and telling myself that the way I am is not only OK but, also started to believe it. When people tried to help me, I would almost resent them, thinking “they didn’t know”, because they hadn’t seen all of what I had been through.

A huge reason for this was me not actually telling anyone what was really going on.

Sure some of my friends knew most of what was going on in the background but no-one knew everything. I am usually a pretty open book … or at least that is what I portrayed myself as.

I want to take this opportunity to say sorry to my friends and despite me not opening up, the fact that they were there for me regardless of how I was feeling at the time, and that they accepted me means the world to me.
You are all whanau to me.

I did start to get a bit of depression, but mostly I had no motivation, no drive.
I wasn’t happy with who I was but, I was also too lazy to want to change, and I mean real change.

You see I have previously mentioned my invincible mentality. I thought I would never get sick, never have health problems.
After a while, you start getting more and more “wake up” health calls and when you don’t take notice of these “wake up” calls you start to not feel so invincible.

Don’t get me wrong, I had moments of strength in will-power, but in reality I was struck by my personal kryptonite. Stubbornness.

God was I stubborn. I remember eating massive portions or drinking copious amounts of alcohol just due to my stubbornness. I felt like I had to prove I could be the invincible fat person. Just to prove everyone that thought I had weight issues that I was right and they were wrong.

Alex's Invincible Mentality

If I had changed my stubbornness in my teens or early 20s and used it for good then maybe you wouldn’t be reading this now.

But as it happens, I didn’t change, so … yay??

So what was your mind-set saying that made you not want to change?, I hear you ask.

Well I have had differing shifts in mind-set during the last 32 years of Fat Life.
This part of the post is being brought to you by my mock rap name Fatty Thins –
“It’s all good baby, baby,
It was full fat cream,
I used to eat it on everything
Cream and sugar were my favorite things”

… OK so I’ll never replace the original Notorious BIG but one thing I did try to do was dismiss any and all guilt of what I was putting into my mouth. There were no guilty pleasures, there was only pleasures and boy did I want all of them!

Something else I did was start to push away people that tried to help. This is one of my biggest regrets. I had a lot of people that cared about me and tried to help me, but because of the way I was I chose to push them further and further away because I didn’t like that they didn’t like me for who I was … despite me not seeing until much later on in life that they actually loved me and only wanted the best for me.

Then the worst thing started to happen.

I started to give up. I had resigned myself to an early death most likely by heart attack. My farther passed away after his 11th heart attack. Once I had given up, I didn’t really mingle with anybody, unless it was drinking or eating. I had also thought there is no way I am ever going to find a girlfriend, all the girls I knew never saw me as a potential partner, only ever as the best friend.

I tell you right now, hearing the “You’re a great guy, but let’s be friends” is one of the hardest things to hear.

So what changed?

I started to get help. About three years ago one of my friends had a serious talk with me and helped me realise that I need more than weight help, I needed mental help.

I started seeing a psycho-therapist.

Now this was a big deal for me, you see I grew up in a very old fashioned family. Put simply my family was big on the “We keep our secrets in the family.” The thought of even going and seeing a psycho-therapist was huge. But I am so glad I did.

Let me tell you right now, if you ever feel like you need help, please go and seek it! As a man I know there is this perception that we all have to be blokes and not to talk to anyone.
I am saying this right now. That is a stupid way to think. We all need help and if you every need help go and seek it.

With the psycho-therapist’s help I started to develop mindfulness and also started to do some more research on changing my mind-set.

I won’t lie, it has not been easy. It has taken me three years to start to seriously change my life and my mind-set. I have failed, the difference now is I have started to learn from my mistakes and start to begin again… this time more intelligently.

I have also started to read/ listen to more podcasts/ audio books and also learn more.

The more research I do the more I find those secret pathways that I was stopping myself from seeing.

Some of the mind-set’s I have heard have not come from simple mindfulness, some have come from financial thinking.

Some people are aware of some of the books I will recommend but a lot of them mention something similar to the Be Do Have mentality. My friend actually told me first about it and gave me the below diagram.

If you aren’t aware the basics of Be Do Have is effectively:

  • Be – Pick someone you want to be like, research them and try to Be them, copy their mentality, actions, skills
  • Do – Follow their actions, if you know what you want, plan how to get there and Do the steps you need to do this
  • Have – By Being the person you want to emulate and Doing the actions to be that person you will Have what you want or desire.
Be Do Have Mindset

So what tips can you give me?

Honestly, not that much, I can only tell you what has worked for me.

  1. Put some time in to researching yourself
  2. Practice mindfulness (check the links below for some resources)
  3. Don’t give up, it will get better. It may not feel like it but if you’re at the bottom you’re bound to go up at some point
  4. Believe in what you’re doing. Anything you’re doing!
  5. If you need it, get help.
  6. Don’t let your mind beat you. So many times I’ve felt beaten down by my own thoughts – take a break and think of something else. Try to focus on what you want to become.
  7. BE. DO. HAVE. – Go research this, it could help start you off on the right track
  8. Know that what you are going through is going to take time. This is a journey. Don’t expect change overnight, this is a marathon not a sprint.
  9. If you have negative thoughts, expect negative behaviours.
  10. Start to Love yourself and in time change will naturally happen.

Resources/ Amazon Affiliate Links

Ok so if you have read my other posts you know that I am an Amazon Affiliate which means if you click the links below and buy anything from Amazon I will get a slight commission. Any support is appreciated.

I am going to list some books that I found helpful in changing my mind-set. Some of these are financial books but they also help you further train your mind.

Well you finally made it to the end!

A huge thank you for all the continuing support and I hope this post helped. Here is a photo of my mind-set today!

Alex Mind-Set today ... Happy!

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