3 Mindfulness Tools That Will Transform Your Life Straightaway

You are here:>>>>>>>>3 Mindfulness Tools That Will Transform Your Life Straightaway

3 Mindfulness Tools That Will Transform Your Life Straightaway

by Paul Garrigan

The topic at a glance

  • The more we accept life as it is, the easier our life becomes. It is what it is.

  • If we remember to focus on physical sensation, we can find a sanctuary in the midst of life’s ups and downs.

  • Self-compassion gives us the ability to be with our emotions, so we avoid the negative results of trying to escape them.


Recovery Tool Kit, Hope Rehab ThailandKnowledge About Mindfulness Is Not Enough

Learning about mindfulness can provide a new framework for understanding our experiences, but this knowledge alone is unlikely to do much to improve our life. It would be like learning about sky-diving when you have no plans of ever getting in an airplane. Here are 3 mindfulness tools that will transform your life straightaway if you start to actually use them:

Focusing on Physical Sensation

One of the things people tend to do when they are mentally distressed is to pace up and down. We intuitively know we will get some relief if we move our attention away from our thoughts to something physical. This simple tool works because our attention can only focus on one thing at time, so by focusing on a physical sensation, we discover a sanctuary no matter how troubled our thinking becomes.

There were periods during those early years after I quit alcohol when I struggled to maintain a meditation practice or do any of the other things that I knew were helping me. The one thing I was always able to do was to focus on physical sensation, sometimes only for a few seconds at a time, but it was enough to prevent me from being overwhelmed by life.

If you can get into the habit of focusing on physical sensation, it will make a huge difference to your life. It will mean you too will have a refuge to turn to no matter how bad life gets. It only requires noticing whatever sensations are arising in your body right now (this is sometimes referred to as interoceptive awareness), or if you prefer, you can create your own sensations by performing some type of movement (e.g. walking, qigong, or yoga).

The benefits of focusing on physical sensation:


  • By moving your attention away from thoughts, it allows your thinking to slow down. If you have a problem, you are far more likely to get a solution from a clear mind than a troubled mind.

  • Obsessive thinking can turn our brain into a ‘pressure cooker’ and eventually the pressure becomes so high we explode. Focusing on physical sensation releases some of the pressure.

  • By moving our attention to something physical, we are actually practicing meditation – it means we will begin to reap the benefits of improved concentration and mental clarity.

  • This act of ‘resting in the body’ introduces us to a new way of being. We start to notice how a deep sense of well-being is our default state when we are not caught up in thinking.


Opening Up to Feelings and Emotions

Most of the bad stuff (including addictive behavior) we do is a result of trying to escape unpleasant feelings and emotions. We never seem to notice that the ‘cure’ is far worse than the ailment – we can go a lifetime without ever even considering what it is we are trying to get away from. It can come as a huge shock when we realize it was never the feelings that were the problem but our overreaction to them.

Self-compassion is the ability to just allow unpleasant feelings and emotions to arise and pass. When we do this, we begin to notice that these feelings are nowhere near as scary as we once imagined them to be – we have been running into the arms of monsters in order to escape a yapping puppy.

Loving What Is

Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening right now in an accepting way. It is an act of devotion that can completely transform our life. The word ‘love’ tends to suggest a gushy type of sentimentality, but the love we are talking about here involves complete acceptance of what is. If we can bring this type of devotion and full-commitment to our current experience, we will find happiness and peace right now (it doesn’t require you become a ‘spiritual person’, meditate for thousands of hours, or complete any type of self-improvement project).


Useful? Please help us by sharing it on social media. 

Other Topics That Might Interest You

Recovering as Adult Children of Alcoholics

Growing up with an addicted parent is like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – one minute the parent can be loving, and the next demonic. It changes us,and these changes follow us into adulthood, but as we begin to heal, we can take something positive from the experience.

Sleepless in Recovery: Insomnia and what really helps

Insomnia and addictions recovery go hand in hand. Having sleep problems is also a major risk factor for relapse. This blog post focuses on the definition, causes, symptoms as well as effective treatment for insomnia and techniques that will help you get a good night's rest:

Boundaries: How I learned to say ‘No’ the hard way

What are healthy boundaries and how do they work? This blog post focuses on why boundaries are crucial, the dangers of not sticking to them - especially in recovery and how to implement boundaries with the people that get to us the most - our family members. A field report:

Anxiety, and why you are not going crazy

Struggling with anxiety disorder can feel like being trapped in hell. However, there is a way out. It's not only possible to recovery, but also to thrive. This blog post discusses challenges & problems and provides you with 12 healthy coping strategies for dealing with anyiety.