What is the mindfulness symbol?
And what does it tell us about practicing mindfulness?
Here’s the ultimate guide – teaching you everything you need to know about this inspiring symbol for mindfulness…
Table of Contents
What Is The Mindfulness Symbol?
The mindfulness symbol is simply a symbol or visual representation that serves a purpose to remind you to be more mindful.
To be mindful is to be fully conscious or aware of your surroundings.
When attempting to be mindful, it’s important to not think or worry about the future.
Instead, the goal is to physically, emotionally, mentally, and cognitively stay within the present moment.
Sometimes it’s not always easy to remember to be mindful. This is where the mindfulness symbol comes into play.
What Does The Mindfulness Symbol Mean?
A mindfulness symbol isn’t just a reminder; it has an intricate meaning behind it.
What Is The Meaning Of The Mindfulness Symbol Of The Water Drop?
The water drop mindfulness symbol features a puddle with multiple drops of water.
Casually looking at this symbol, one might already feel mindful and at peace.
After all, drops of water, from the sound they make as they pitter-patter to a surface, to the fresh smell of rain on asphalt, are considered relaxing.
Not only that, but water, which never takes on a single form, can be compared to mindfulness as it also never takes on only one form.
Pour water into a short, wide, cylinder-shaped glass, and it’ll take on that shape instantly. However, pour it into a skinny tube, it’ll that on that shape.
Similarly, a mind that focuses on the present molds itself to whatever the current moment entails. It doesn’t stay stagnant or maladaptive.
Like Bruce Lee would say,
“…Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water…”
In other words, a mindful mind should be highly flexible and adaptive, just like water.
While the water drop mindfulness symbol might seem simple, each of the different components of this visual represents something in particular.
The vertical water drops of this symbol resemble the timeline from the past to the future.
In the center of the vertical water drops, there’s a small circle. This represents the current moment, the present. This is where we should be.
As for the horizontally-stretched puddle surrounding the drops of water and the small circle, this symbolizes space.
Picking apart each of these aspects of the mindfulness symbol, it’s clear that it’s intent is to remind us to never consciously live in the past nor future.
Keeping grounded at the moment we’re currently in, we can maintain a harmonious balance in life.
This symbol certainly helps keep that in mind for us.
What Is The Literal Meaning Of The Chinese Mindfulness Symbol?
Symbols don’t only come in the format of visual pictures or graphics. They also come in the form of certain written forms of communication.
Chinese calligraphy is one example of a written form of communication that features words in symbolic form.
The symbol for the word “mindfulness” in the Chinese language not only merely refers to mindfulness but comes with a deeper meaning.
In fact, “mindfulness” in Chinese is represented with two characters.
The character on top refers to “shelter” while the second character represents “heart.”
In translation, the mindfulness symbol in the Chinese language means “bringing heart into the present.”
Together, these characters act as a reminder that our heart (and mind) need to be within the shelter of now, not back then or in the future.
Just like a shelter makes us feel at home, we should feel at home with our thoughts and feelings, which mindfulness can provide.
What Is Mindfulness And Why Do You Need To Remember To Be Mindful?
Although mindfulness seems like a modern practice, it actually was introduced approximately 2,500 years ago.
Regardless of how old it may be, being mindful is deemed a critical part of remaining happy and grounded no matter the circumstance.
Mindfulness is a practice that must be consciously done to bring ourselves into the present moment.
It involves learning to separate our worries and regrets from the beauty of the moment we’re presently in.
Additionally, being mindful requires that we remain cool, calm, and collected with a peaceful attitude.
To lack mindfulness, however, is to dwell on the past or worry about the future: two things that are harmful to our mental health.
While mindfulness is often done as a type of meditation part of the practice of Buddhism, anyone can engage in mindfulness.
Remembering to be mindful is important in many ways.
When we remember to engage in mindful behaviors and thought processes, this allows us to live life exactly as we’re meant to, one step at a time.
Likewise, mindfulness is vital to remember because it helps train the mind to be positive, enjoys every little moment, and be malleable.
However, it’s not enough to try mindfulness every now and then. Engaging in it on a regular basis is critical to achieve its lasting benefits.
How The Mindfulness Symbol And Practicing Mindfulness Will Help You?
Regularly partaking in the act of mindfulness can help you gain the following benefits:
Reduced stress and anxiety
Just about all of us these days would consider ourselves stressed or anxious.
Modern-day living, as great as it can be, comes at a rapid pace that many of us feel intimidated by.
In turn, we feel pressured, tense, and nervous. We may feel like we constantly have to keep moving and never have time to just stay still.
The good news is, by engaging in mindfulness, you can benefit from lower levels of stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety are very future-focused; however, partaking in mindfulness can help your mind cope with present thinking.
As you adapt your mind to think about moment via mindfulness, you’re better able to stay focused on what’s currently on your plate.
According to Mindful, not only is mindfulness useful for anxiety, but it also blends well with other anxiety-helping tools like medication and therapy.
When we feel stressed out in nervewracking situations, we feel a lack of control.
Sometimes we might think we’re the ones losing control.
However, having a solid sense of self-control is important as it can aid us in acting appropriately in various situations.
To take charge of our urges, impulses, and desires no matter how tempting they may be is a skill we all should have.
Since mindfulness emphasizes that we concentrate on the present, we’re less likely to make rash decisions or do things we later regret.
The act of being mindful is slow, rational, and careful, which dramatically differs from our usual fast decision-making and impulsive behaviors.
More focused thinking
All of us have dealt with a lack of concentration before.
For instance, maybe you’ve tried studying for an important exam, but your family wouldn’t stop chatting in the background, which distracted you.
Or, maybe you’ve found yourself struggling to read a page of a book because your mind was somewhere else.
We may also experience a lack of concentration when we’re struggling with repetitive thoughts.
Fortunately, mindfulness teaches us how to achieve more focused thinking as it’s a process that emphasizes the here and now.
As you find yourself gaining more focus thanks to mindfulness, everyday tasks will be easier than ever before.
Reading novels, watching movies, playing sports, performing tasks at work, and the like will all be more fulfilling when we have greater concentration.
Life is less about what gets thrown at us and more about how we actually handle it.
Unfortunately, many of us are stuck in toxic patterns that encourage stagnancy in our lives.
We may find ourselves caught up in old routines or in irrational thinking patterns.
A mindful mind, however, knows how important it is to be flexible in a variety of life situations.
In fact, research shows that flexibility achieved from mindfulness can help one recoupe stability after dealing with psychological distress.
Likewise, the flexibility gained from mindfulness can help us make better decisions as we become more comfortable with different standpoints.
All in all, a flexible, adaptable mind gives us the ability to see things from different perspectives, be more open, and better embrace challenges.
One of the best traits anyone could have in life is the ability to accept what is and what isn’t.
However, acceptance is something many people find incredibly difficult. Too often, they want things to go their way and their way only.
Interestingly, as you start thinking in the present, you’ll find yourself better accepting of the scars of your past and the fears of your future.
When you’re present-focused, it leaves you no energy to concentrate on regret and shame that are often tied to our pasts.
Likewise, being present-focused helps us avoid those dreadful, irrational “what-if” scenarios we often play in our head over and over again.
Part of the whole intent of mindfulness is to see that what will be, will be.
As you learn this, accepting the bad aspects of life will be a piece of cake.
Lower risk of addictive tendencies
There are different reasons why people suffer from addiction.
Some people use an addiction to cope with the trauma of the past.
Others clutch onto their addiction as a way to shield themselves from the anxieties of their future.
Then there are some folks who turn to their addiction when they’re feeling mentally or emotionally unstable within the moment.
The serenity and rationality that mindfulness brings, however, can help people engage in healthier methods of problem-solving.
In fact, the slower course of the mindful mind helps people learn to be patient with whatever situation they’re currently dealing with.
In addition, by forcing yourself to focus on what’s happening right now, you’re more likely to get comfortable with coping with reality.
Based on the latter information, it’s no surprise to discover that mindfulness practices are being used to help patients with addiction.
Improved ability to be grateful
When we emphasize the past or future, we’re looking behind or looking ahead rather than looking at them now.
Whether we dwell on the past or get antsy about the future, both of these encourage us to compare our life now to our previous/future life.
The problem with the latter comparison is that it sets us up to be unhappy.
If we focus on the past and compare it to our present, we’ll become distraught if our past was more fulfilling than our present.
If we focus on the future and compare it to our present, we’ll never be content with what we have. We’ll always want more in the future.
It’s hard to feel gratitude when we’re constantly avoiding enjoying the present moment and always comparing and contrasting.
Since mindfulness does in fact emphasize the present moment, we’re able to learn what it means to be grateful.
After all, to be thankful is to be content with what you already have, not what you used to have or what you could one day have.
Empathy is the ability to understand and feel remorse for other living beings.
When someone is empathetic, they’re usually classified as selfless, caring, and giving individuals.
However, focusing on our past or future tends to be driven by selfishness.
While sometimes selfishness is necessary, empathy is still critical. It helps make our world go ’round.
In fact, research shows that there’s a direct relationship between empathy and mindfulness.
Focusing on the present can allow us to develop a greater, deeper level of empathy called mindful empathy.
As we maintain a mindful state, we become more aware of not just ourselves but of others.
We begin to take notice of those who could use emotional comfort, sensitivity, and assistance.
A more fulfilling life
From more focused thinking to reduced stress and anxiety, the many benefits of mindfulness can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling, happy life.
After all, we tend to feel like our best selves when we’re in a stable headspace. Focusing on the present can certainly help provide that.
Meanwhile, focusing on the past leaves us with regret, embarrassment, and anger while the future leaves us uncertain and worried.
The daily practice of mindfulness, though, can give us the tools we need to succeed on a greater level than ever before.
While being mindful takes work, it’s often worth the time and “hassle” to become a better-developed person.