“Introverts live in two worlds: We visit the world of people, but solitude and the inner world will always be our home.” ~Jenn Granneman, Our Hidden World: The Secret Lives of Introverts
At no time in my entire life have I ever thought I was introverted. I always thought I was just a regular kid flowing with life’s experiences just like everyone else, and there was nothing strange about me.
I began to be told that I was shy, quiet, serious-faced and shy. It was my favorite thing about me, which I still love, to have my own space. My favorite thing has been to spend time online surfing, finding new information, and obsessing about the latest technologies.
Because I was a bit tired and unmotivated to be around people and party-goers, I didn’t like the idea of socializing with long amounts of people.
When I walked outside I felt anxious and self-conscious. It was difficult to maintain a conversation with strangers.
So was my whole life. It became such a hassle as I grew older that it began to affect how I saw myself.
I became more anxious—stressed about socializing and being outside, making friends, and even expressing myself in serious situations like job interviews.
My temper was also a problem back in those days. I became an angry bear when I got mad and could not be calmed. After my moments of anger, regret would slowly creep in, and I would chew myself up for all the mean things I’d said and done to others.
“This is not the kind of life I want to live to my old age,” I thought to myself. As an introverted geek, I began to research the problem and sought permanent solutions.
I came across mindfulness while researching. It was interesting to me that you could train your mind to stay in the moment, while being conscious of all your feelings and thoughts.
I was determined to find out more about mindfulness so I can get it started.
A few years down the line, after immersing myself in the practice and doing it daily, I have seen much improvement in my life and how I do things, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself.
I have become more empowered and equipped to handle the aspects of my life that I had problems with before, and I’ve seen good results with them.
Five Ways Mindfulness Made Me an Extraordinaire
These are five positive ways that mindfulness has changed my life and made me happier.
1. Mindfulness helped me to feel at ease in my introverted skin.
At first, I believed that the best way to make my life better was to learn to be extraverted.
I had even created a strategy of how I would slowly become more talkative and vulnerable—how I would force myself to attend more social events, talk to as many people as I could, and tell them everything about my life. Then they would feel I’m being open with them and in turn open up to me, and life would become amazing.
I realize that the strategy was intended to make me believe a lie. It was supposed to teach me to be everything besides myself, and I’m glad I didn’t get to execute the plan because I discovered mindfulness shortly after considering it.
My introverted nature and the way I lived my life became clearer after I started practicing mindfulness. While introversion has its drawbacks, I also discovered many benefits.
Both introverts and extroverts have problems due to their extroversion.
Being an introvert I was often boring, quiet and disliked by many. But a friend explained to me that his extrovert nature meant he had many friends who were hurtful.
That’s when I discovered no side is better than the other. Both introversion and extrovertio have their advantages and drawbacks.
With that realization, I became comfortable being the introvert I was, and I thought to myself, “I’m going to hold onto my nature as an introvert. It may not be perfect, but at least I won’t be living a lie by pretending to be someone I’m not.”
2. Mindfulness has made me more confident.
Mindfulness helped me to accept myself and it made me more confident.
Intuitive introverts are not bad. I stopped thinking that they were evil and started to see the benefits. I discovered that I was envied by extroverts just like I was.
Although I believed being extrovert was cool I remember that my extrovert friends once said they wish they could be like me. My quiet personality gave me an intriguing personality. Being able to stay alone for extended periods of time also helped me become independent and powerful. This was a key factor in my self-confidence and acceptance.
I went from “Man, I wish I was more social and talkative!” to “Man, I love how I’m quiet and comfortable being alone!”
Also, being aware of the anxious and stressful thoughts and feelings I had when I was among people helped me realize that they were baseless, and they were just that—thoughts and feelings. These thoughts and feelings would continue to come.
These were not the realities nor truths.
My mind had made exaggerated situations, making me anxious and uncomfortable around others. I was able to simply be aware of my thoughts and not do anything. My social anxiety gradually disappeared.
3. Mindfulness helped me to focus and have mental clarity.
Learning to pay attention to my emotions, thoughts, and sensations in the moment helped me to think less and had more control of my feelings. I had less anxiety-inducing thought, which translated to mental clarity and more focus.
I stopped dwelling on how others perceived me or how awkward it was to talk with them. Instead, I began being more open-minded and conscious of what I had just done.
That slight change of approach made it possible for me to look people in the eye when talking to them and keep a normal and steady conversation without someone realizing I was once a “socially disabled” introvert.
To top it all, my ability to focus and reduce distractions and my ability to control my emotions helped me achieve greater productivity in my work.
You will find that your brain can focus longer and have less to think about. This is a good thing.
4. My self-awareness was increased by mindfulness.
It helped me understand my day better by being mindful all the time. It was easy to identify the areas of my life that I excelled in and those areas I had to improve.
When I was speaking with others, for example, I observed that I thought before I spoke. This saved me the embarrassment and pain of using thoughtless words, which could have made me appear foolish or caused harm to the person with whom I was speaking.
Also, while I had a strong communication skillset, my ability to take action was lacking. This led me to many problems.
Through the small observations that I made and the application of better methods combined with a disciplined and determined effort, I became better.
5. Mindfulness has brought peace to my heart and helped me find inner harmony.
In a matter of years I transformed from being socially awkward, anxious and self-loathing to becoming a self-loving and more confident person who is mentally and emotionally healthy. This helped me feel happier and more in tune with myself.
I didn’t have to pretend or think and do things from an extrovert’s point of view so that I would be accepted. It was easy to accept myself and discover how others love my introverted characteristics, which gave me satisfaction.
Furthermore, it was easy for me to be free and think and act as I like, which has helped everything else in my life to work well together.
Mindfulness in my Life: What I did and how you can do it too
After reading and watching articles and videos and listening to podcasts, lectures and other teachings about mindfulness, I made the decision to act.
Mindfulness meditation is my first step towards mindfulness. It’s both the most simple and rewarding. You will learn about mindfulness, how it feels and how you can cultivate it.
You can make it even more enjoyable by using guided meditations to help you practice mindfulness meditation. Before I was able to meditate on my own for the first time, I used guided meditations for several months. I had good results.
A guided mindfulness meditation will walk you through your whole experience, with the help of an expert who’ll explain how to relax your mind and body so you can have a fulfilling session.
It’s simply the best place to start building mindfulness in your life.
As I became more comfortable with this practice, I increased my meditation time to one-two minutes. Then I added ten minutes.
When I felt comfortable with meditation I tried to integrate mindfulness into my everyday life. I practiced while I ate, listened and spoke, while walking and washing dishes.
The techniques improved my awareness and mindfulness. It is best to incorporate these techniques one at a time. Start with the easiest one and stay with it for several weeks. You can then try another technique until it becomes second nature to use them all throughout the day.
You want to make your regular activities more mindful and have more moments of mindfulness every day.
Mindfulness has changed my life as an introvert. And if it can help you become more empowered, then I am sure that mindfulness can do the same for you. It is possible to spice up your daily life by focusing on mindfulness.
David Oscar is a big meditation and mindfulness advocate. He is also a mental health researcher and the editor of Improve Your Brain Power, a website that shares the legitimate and effective ways to improve the power and function of the brain.
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