Mindfulness is not a new concept. However, in recent years, the idea of practicing mindfulness has become more prevalent as our culture turns to a new lifestyle of health and wellness. Still, many wonder how to practice mindfulness and how it can be a useful tool in times of stress and uncertainty. In a recent interview titled “How to Develop Mindfulness and Serenity During Stressful or Uncertain Times,” Beau Henderson interviewed Eterneva‘s Adelle Archer to unravel some of the secrets surrounding this topic.
Archer is the co-founder and CEO of Eterneva, a grief and wellness company that celebrates lives by turning the ashes of people’s loved ones into diamonds. Following the loss of her mentor, Tracey, who lost her life after being diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Archer was inspired to find a way to commemorate Tracey. Archer decided to turn her ashes into a black diamond. According to Archer, it was a way “to capture her sparkling spirit and ensure that her legacy [lived] on.” During this process and after recognizing the limited resources available to provide such services, Archer partnered with Garrett Ozar and founded Eterneva in 2015. After founding a company built around the idea of leaning into hard situations and conversations, Archer has gained a wealth of knowledge on how to cope with challenging circumstances. In her interview with Henderson, the Eterneva CEO shared her take on how individuals can use mindfulness to cope with the trying situations that they are facing related to the current pandemic.
What Is Mindfulness?
“The state of being mindful is all about controlling your thoughts. In reality, our own minds are really the only thing any of us can control,” says Archer.
When you go through life, day by day, you will have thousands of thoughts cross your mind. Most of these thoughts will pass through, and you will not even recognize them. However, many of these thoughts can have a major impact on the function of your life. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of these thoughts and being present in the current moment.
What Are the Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness?
This practice has been around for centuries, and through the years, both spiritual leaders and scientists have acknowledged the benefits of mindfulness for the human mind, body, and spirit. One of the most prominent benefits, according to Archer, is that mindfulness can enhance one’s ability to recognize one’s self-limiting beliefs.
If you can do this, then you can start to break down these beliefs and restructure your personal identity through small accomplishments. It is important to note that mindfulness is about being kind to yourself. It is about cultivating the physical, mental, and emotional ability to fail 1,000 times but continue to show up and try anyway. It is about building resilience.
How Can People Use Mindfulness to Cope With the Current Uncertainty?
The pandemic has brought a new array of emotions to not only the U.S. but also the world as a whole. Recent fears were introduced, which were then heightened by the sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. According to Archer, this experience is bringing about a feeling of grief around the loss of normalcy. To cope with this grief, Archer recommends that individuals turn to mindfulness because, at this moment, the only thing that any of us can control is our minds. Therefore, how we conduct our inner dialogue is extremely important.
“What we feed our brain matters – whether it is frightening news or a nice book by someone we admire,” she says. “These things change our mindset and, as a result, how we show up in our lives for ourselves, those we love, and the people we are trying to help.” With this concept in mind, Archer suggests these five tips to help individuals cope during this time:
- Limit news intake, and don’t watch the market. The current news is a rollercoaster, so step away from it occasionally. Removing yourself and refraining from constantly consuming news will help you on a daily basis.
- Be careful about your language and focus. Be aware of your inner dialogue, and focus on a mantra that promotes your strength.
- Work on mastering your emotions. Focus on yourself and how you can grow through these stressful situations.
- Simplify and maximize: Recognize your essentials in this time, and try to let go of everything else.
- Remember that gratitude is the antidote to fear. Focus on the positives in your life instead of the negatives. Think of gratitude as a muscle that must be exercised. The result will be a new outlook on your circumstances.
They say that you cannot take care of others unless you first care for yourself. Thankfully, the practice of mindfulness can help improve your mental stamina and allow you to be in a position to help others. In a time when those surrounding us are experiencing the same fear, grief, and anxiety, it is beneficial to lend a helping hand.
Archer suggests that to help those who are grieving, individuals can do a few simple things:
- Hold a space for grief. It is important to be there to allow others to experience their emotions and feel supported.
- Tell stories about past times. This practice can help you recognize gratitude.
- Do something. Be a part of all of the change that is happening.
- Move and breath. Get outside and activate your body, and support your loved ones while they do the same.
- Foster a pet (if you can). A pet can help you and your family by providing a companion and creating a necessary routine.
A Hopeful Future
The world is an ever-evolving place; the current situation will change, and our reality will continuously be altered. The best thing that we can do to navigate these times is practice mindfulness and gratitude and be present. It is important, according to Archer, to remember that “life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you.” In this time of hardship, try to remember that difficult circumstances lead to positive growth.