Mindfulness is a superpower because it continually nudges us onto the path of growth. As humans, we spend so much of our time thinking about the future or the past, stuck in cycles of emotional reactivity, and ruminating endlessly. Mindfulness gives us the tools to break out of negative patterns of thinking and reimagine our lives.
Today’s society glorifies a lot of things: success, fame, wealth.
Mindfulness and personal growth isn’t always on the top of the list.
But more than any of those external indicators of success, mindfulness can actually make your life better by breaking cycles of negative thinking and allowing you to live in the moment.
That’s why mindfulness is a superpower.
Why mindfulness is a superpower
We all have the ability to continually learn and improve.
We can push ourselves to grow, or we can shrink back from fear of discomfort.
Figuring out how to exist in a state of peace, contentment, and awareness in everyday life is one of the greatest tasks we have as humans.
Mindfulness helps by teaching us to slow down and pay attention so that we don’t miss out on the beautiful moments of life.
It continually nudges us onto the slow and winding path of growth and improved human condition.
Mindfulness also helps us claw back time that we would’ve spent stuck in unhelpful thought patterns, and pull ourselves into the present.
Once we’re in the present, mindfulness helps us with improved focus and a better day-to-day experience.
6 reasons mindfulness is a superpower
Mindfulness has been widely studied and has a number of evidence-based benefits.
A few of them are:
- Less overthinking
- Stress reduction
- Memory improvements
- Improved focus
- Less emotional reactivity
- Improved relationships
Above all, mindfulness is a superpower because it helps us to exist in the present moment, instead of the past or the future.
And all we really have is the present moment.
Mindfulness is about living your life with intention, rather than living in a state of reactivity.
Let’s split it into two approaches: activities (more concrete) and philosophies (more abstract):
- Activities: Practicing gratitude, meditating, journaling, breathwork, yoga, conscious consumption, thinking before reacting, single-tasking instead of multi-tasking
- Philosophies: Having a growth mindset, staying present rather than living in the future or the past, staying attuned to what the mind and body are feeling in the present moment
Being mindful in the modern world
Mindfulness is especially important in the modern world.
I don’t mean to simplify the human experience of our ancestors, who most certainly had deep emotional lives (I’m looking at you, Buddha and Socrates).
But we undoubtedly live in a more complex world than they do.
We’re bombarded from all sides with opportunities from stress and anxiety and discontent:
We’re a tribal species.
But the modern world hits us with non-stop global input.
In the matter of a few centuries, we’ve gone from agrarian societies, interacting with extended families and nearby neighbors, to a hyperconnected society notified instantly of disasters on the other side of the world.
More than perhaps any generation before us, we need mindfulness to navigate this world.
We need mindfulness to help us manage this messy world through skills like patience and resilience and conscious consumption.
Has mindfulness become a cliché?
In short – sure, it certainly has in some places.
Let’s acknowledge that mindfulness is a tricky topic to tease apart, and in some cases, has been deployed as the latest marketable buzzword in spirituality and productivity.
In an era where everyone from corporate leaders to preschool teachers to social media influencers (and yes, bloggers) are talking about mindfulness, it can be hard to pin down exactly what this term even means.
Has it evolved into simply a word that evokes a vague spirituality, without meaning anything? A sort of trite “mindfulness is important to me” bumper sticker?
Maybe – but this can also be seen as a beneficial development.
Hear me out:
The growth of mindfulness
Mindfulness is a useful secular language to discuss growth and spirituality in the 21st century.
As society has been getting less religious, many of the organizational forces pulling people toward a deeper consideration of their lives have slipped away.
At the same time, we have the popularization of meditation in the 20th and 21st century, and the recent explosion in the use of the term mindfulness and a growing mindful living movement.
Yes, mindfulness is ubiquitous and yes, in some quarters it hardly means much anymore, but that’s okay: more people are being reached.
It’s estimated that 275 million people practice meditation worldwide. In the US, the number of adults who’ve practice meditation more than tripled from 4% to 14% in recent years.
So the message is getting out there, helped by this more accessible language.
In the past, people may have felt that something like meditation was too much for them (requiring hours-at-time dedication), or that it was too foreign.
With mindfulness, we’ve landed on an overarching term that encompasses a healthy spirituality. It’s compatible with both secular and religious practices of gratitude, meditation and daily introspection.
Applying the superpower of mindfulness to your life
Mindfulness may sometimes seem to be a marketing or HR buzzword these days, but I’d encourage anyone struggling with that to look deeper at the mountains of evidence-based benefits mindfulness provides.
Mindfulness is one of the greatest “superpowers” we have access to, because pushes us to transcend our nature in positive ways:
From living in the past or the future to living in the present; from scattered to focused; from discontent to grateful.
And it matters because we know don’t want to walk automatically through life, oblivious to the present moment. We want to be more present, to have less stress, to have better relationships, and to better manage our emotions.
Mindfulness moves us in the right direction.
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Hi there—my name is Ryan. My mindfulness practice kicked off in 2016 after I joined a ten-day silent retreat. I started Mindfulness Box because thinking about what makes humans happy, calm, and peaceful is endlessly fascinating to me.