You’ll find a lot of people talking about mindfulness these days. It’s no longer strictly in the realm of self-help or personal wellness – mindfulness training is even starting to play a role at some of the largest corporations in the world. We are also starting to see research that shows how mindfulness can be good for your health.
Mindfulness can be beneficial to every type of person and it can help people in a number of different ways. With mindfulness being a practice that occurs in the mind, many people assume that introverts are naturally mindful. However, this is only true to some degree.
It is true that introverts spend much of their time in thought, but this is not the same as being mindful. With an introvert, the inner dialogue usually takes them somewhere that is separate from the present moment. For many, it is almost like being lost in thought.
While having a tendency toward thought can be good for mindfulness, it can also be a distraction from the present moment and surroundings of the individual. For introverts, the issue is not about an ability to be still and think. Instead, it is cultivating the ability to keep those thoughts on the present moment. In other words, introverts need to learn how to be mindful of mindfulness.
Practising Mindfulness as an Introvert
In some ways, the traits of an introvert will be good for practising mindfulness. Introverts have a tendency to seek out quiet, peaceful surroundings. They also spend a lot of time in thought, so they are accustomed to exploring their minds in ways that are deeper than most people. The trouble comes in when the introvert gets lost in thought and they allow their mind to take them away from the moment they are in.
Mindfulness can come in many different forms. Some people take classes or read books to learn mindfulness meditation, but you don’t need to learn any special techniques. Basic mindfulness practices can be learned very simply and without complicated instructions.
Most mindfulness practices focus on three things: your body, your breathing and your thoughts. The general recommendation from there is to practice mindfulness in a quiet space with few distractions. Find a comfortable place to sit in an upright position. Focus on your breathing as you breathe in and out slowly. When you notice your mind starting to drift, bring it back to focusing on the moment.
For most people, the idea is to practice mindfulness for about 5-10 minutes a day. As you do it more, it will become easier to be mindful and stay focused. Additionally, you will start to find that you are more mindful in your everyday life – even when you are not engaged in practices that are designed to cultivate mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for an introvert. They can still maintain the ability to go deep into thought to explore creative solutions and new ideas, but mindfulness will help them to focus their minds and keep them present when they need to be in the moment.