When venturing into mindfulness for the first time, it can be challenging to understand where we stand. A lot of people are unsure if they have the capacity for mindfulness without realizing that they actually embody many everyday traits that form the perfect foundation for mindful practices.
We’ve compiled a handy checklist to help evaluate where you currently stand. It’s a great tool to help you figure out your temperament, and also see if there are some things worth consciously working on.
- You often observe and comment on the positive that you see around you.
Attempting to control negative feelings and adapt a forced mantra of positivity is an exercise in futility, however there is always something to be said about trying to see the silver lining. No matter how we are feeling on any given day, there are so many good things in the world to see if we keep our eyes open. Being open to these moments and practicing gratitude are staples of the mindful temperament.
- You understand that everything in life is temporary, and you do not actively resist change.
As a species we humans are resistant to change, and in an ever-evolving world this resistance is always going to be a societal and personal obstacle. When faced with uncertainty our brain tends to play all sorts of tricks on us in its attempt to keep us in our comfort zones. The mindful temperament finds it easier to overcome the brain’s impulses, and with further mindfulness techniques can manage stress more effectively.
- When daydreaming about the past or the future, you often consciously stop yourself and return to the present.
There is nothing wrong with daydreaming, but we can sometimes run into trouble with concentration or even anxiety about the past or the future. Effective mindfulness engages our focus and brings us back to the now. Having a certain amount of control over a wandering brain makes for a mindful temperament.
- You can easily list your behaviour patterns and responsive habits you’re prone to experience in certain situations.
A conscious understanding of oneself is a hallmark of a mindful temperament. With the self-awareness to foresee our behaviour patterns and plan ahead, we can save ourselves a whole lot of stress.
- You aren’t surprised when people comment on your strengths and weaknesses.
Not only is self-awareness an incredibly handy lifelong tool to own, the mindful temperament can also help us identify which areas we need to work on, and which areas are a perfectly natural part of our personality that does not need to change.
- If feeling anxious, you try to separate yourself from your feelings and look at them from an outside perspective.
Recognising the tricks our minds play on us is never easy and can be particularly difficult for sufferers of anxiety or depression, for example. A mindful temperament, through practice, can find it easier to separate logic and emotion for the purpose of relieving stress.
- When angry, you spend time trying to clear your head before responding.
We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the heat of the moment. Our reactions to situations are linked to our emotions, and it is hard to keep these in balance when angered. If you are often able to successfully stop and think before reacting while heated, you likely have a mindful temperament.
- You understand the benefits and actively encourage giving and receiving constructive criticism.
No one enjoys criticism, but the mindful among us tend to focus on its long-term benefits instead of the temporary discomfort it can bring. A mindful temperament also helps us approach others with feedback, and frame it in the best way to fit the individual they are giving it to.