It’s no coincidence that the art of mindfulness has become such a big talking point in recent years – our hectic lives are marked by too many sources of stimulus bombarding us from all directions. Our brains can’t process this much information, so they “turn off” from reality and wander, getting carried away from the here and now.
Here’s where mindfulness could help you beat this condition. Research shows that being non-judgmentally wired to the present moment is strongly correlated to higher levels of reported happiness and life satisfaction.
MINDFULNESS in one sentence: on purpose, being present, here and now, paying attention to what you see and feel, without judging.
Are you a mindful traveler, or do you feel you need to improve your travel lifestyle?
Compare yourself against the following points:
1. When you see something beautiful, you take a moment to immerse yourself in the scene
When you are visiting a country for the first time and everything looks new to you, it is easy to notice unknown smells, shapes and sounds. But the mindful traveler will keep their attention sharp even after being in the same place for over a month, and not only for beautiful sights but for everything surrounding them. Paying attention is the best way to create lasting memories.
2. You don’t mind waiting in lines
Airports, passport control, train delays, museum lines in Paris – nothing can take you out of your comfort zone. Long waits present a perfect opportunity to focus your attention on your breathing, or to concentrate your thoughts on the shapes and sounds around you. In fact, that’s one of the best benefits of mindfulness – it’s harder to stay irritated or angry for long because your unbiased, non-judging brain can recognize the feeling and tame it by acknowledging it.
3. You meditate
There are people who keep fit wherever they are in the world. There are others who meditate wherever they are. Mindful people know that taking care of your mental health is as important as exercising.
4. You enjoy time without your phone
You use your phone when you need to (looking at maps, converting currencies, adding new friends on Facebook) but you’re even better at switching your phone off. You appreciate talking to people and living offline more than collecting likes online.
5. You define your trips by the relationships forged on the road
Creating human relationships, not taking beautiful photos, is the most important factor for you when deciding whether or not you liked your last trip.
6. Planning your next trip while you’re on the current one? Not you.
Many people tend to get so obsessed with getting as much as possible from life that they can’t fully enjoy the good things when they actually have them. Being focused on the future takes pleasure away from the present moment.
7. You don’t buy souvenirs, you bring intangible gifts
You are not denying the whole material world, you just appreciate experience more than objects. That’s why your friends expect you to bring them a recipe for an amazing tiramisu you tried in Italy rather than a fridge magnet.
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