What Can A Mindfulness Symbol Tell Us?

By: Mary Elizabeth Dean

Updated March 27, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers

Mindfulness has been growing in popularity, and many studies have proven its effectiveness. It can improve both your mindset and your mental health. In this article, we'll talk about mindfulness and the mindfulness symbol.

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What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about what you're doing right now. It is the act of cultivating full awareness of the present and what is going on inside of you at this very moment. When you practice mindfulness, you realize that the past can't change and that the future is uncertain, so you only need to rely on the present. A mindful person has all of their senses focused on where they are and what they're experiencing right now.

Mindfulness stems from ancient Eastern practices, particularly Buddhism. There are many Buddhist themes in modern-day mindfulness, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and being one with the world, but you don't need to adhere to the Buddhist faith to be mindful. Many secular people have also realized just how powerful mindfulness can be, and the science of mindfulness is promising as well.

There are many proven benefits to practicing mindfulness. Specifically, mindfulness can aid improve mental health. Read on to learn more about these benefits.

The Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness lowers your stress. Worrying about the future or fretting about something you did in the past isn't going to change anything. Instead, you need to address your stress in the present. Mindfulness can help you release your worries about the past or future, so you can handle stress more effectively.
  • Mindfulness allows you to be a more empathetic person. While practicing mindfulness, you become more observant of the people around you. You see what they're doing, and you learn how to see their points of view. This makes you more likely to help people in need or, at the very least, express compassion whenever possible.

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  • Mindfulness improves your senses. Our senses can be such a gift. Sight can help us paint a beautiful picture, and it's such a joy to hear the voice of a loved one. Even the things you touch are beautiful - with mindfulness, you can find greater enjoyment in texture, softness, and everything in-between. Mindfulness helps you experience more of the world around you through your senses.
  • Mindfulness can improve your overall mental wellbeing. It's important to address mental health at any age, but it's particularly important as you get older. Practicing mindfulness can help keep your brain sharp as you age.

The Mindfulness Symbol

The mindfulness symbol illustrates the concept of mindfulness in a way that's easy to understand. It may appear to be simple, but it has deep meaning. That's why it took nearly two years to develop it.

The symbol works as a reminder. When you see it, you remember to be in the present and to be more mindful of your surroundings. In fact, the symbol itself is the perfect example of what the present moment looks like. First, consider the vertical aspect of the symbol. Time is often represented by horizontal lines moving from left to right or past to future. This vertical form indicates that time has stopped, representing the here and now, while the 360-degree view around it hints at the fullness of the present moment.

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Next, consider how the water drops also represent the present moment. When water falls, the effect it has is quite amazing to the mindful person: the noise it makes, the effect of its splatter, the pool it creates, the smell of fresh rain. When you're practicing mindfulness, this can all be delightful.

Bruce Lee knew about the importance of water in mindfulness. He compared being mindful to being like water with no form or shape. Water, after all, is shaped by its container. If you put water in a glass, it takes the shape of the glass. If you put water in a tank, it takes the shape of the tank. Water can also be calm and flowing or aggressive and crashing. In this case, it falls and ripples out from the vertical form to add to the richness of the symbolism.

There are many ways you can use a mindfulness symbol and enjoy its benefits. Luckily, the mindfulness symbol is open source, so there are no copyright restrictions to it. Here are a few ideas for incorporating it into your life:

  • This symbol would be a wonderful tattoo. Should you choose to tattoo it on your skin, either temporarily or permanently, it's an excellent reminder to be mindful whenever you see it.
  • You can set the symbol as the background of your phone or your computer. We look at these devices frequently, and this addition will turn them into reminders to be mindful instead of constant distractions.
  • You can print the symbol out and spread it around town. Mindfulness can benefit everyone, and this is a beautiful way to share it, especially if you include a short explanation of the symbolism.

There are many other ways you can incorporate this powerful symbol into your life to support your mindfulness practice, and there are also other mindfulness practices that can support you on a day-to-day basis.

Mindfulness Exercises

As you're learning to be more mindful, there are a number of simple exercises that you may enjoy. These work great for a beginner, and you can even share them with family, friends, or others in your community.

The Body Scan. You can use this tool to become more aware of how you're feeling and what's happening your body. Begin examining yourself from your toes to your head. Imagine energy flowing through you, rising from your feet to your head. The energy moves slowly, taking hold of your being. As you move your attention over each part of your body from the ground up, notice how that part feels. Give it a little extra attention. See if anything surprises you. If you feel discomfort or pain, it often helps to breathe into that body part and accept the feelings instead of resisting them.

Textures. You can use your sense of touch to practice mindfulness. Ask a friend to put a few objects in a box, and make sure you don't know what they are. Then, feel the objects without looking at them. Notice their shape and texture. What could they be? Try to guess and ask your friend if you're right.

This exercise works great with other senses, too. You can ask a friend put items that smell in various boxes. Use your nose to enjoy the scents and again try to guess what they are. Alternatively, you can listen to music and try to get a feel for every note and instrument in the song. Or you might want to savor your next meal. The possibilities are endless, so you can enjoy being creative in the moment.

Journaling. Mindfulness is all about getting in touch with your innermost self. Journaling is a great way to cultivate self-awareness. It can help you gain a deeper understanding of the way you feel and how to process your emotions. All you need is a pen and paper.

Yoga. It can be easier to practice mindfulness or meditation when your body is calm. Try doing a few yoga poses before meditating to make your session more productive.

Be gentle with yourself. Learning how to practice mindfulness isn't always easy, but you can do it. Set aside time each day for self-care to ensure you have plenty of energy to practice.

How BetterHelp Can Help

There are many ways you can become more mindful. It's a rewarding task, but it requires some work. You might enjoy this work, or you might need additional support. If you're not sure how to cultivate this useful skill, then consider talking to a counselor. Many counselors have realized the importance of mindfulness and have incorporated into their work with clients.

If you're looking for someone who can help you, know that BetterHelp offers a convenient online platform where you can find a licensed counselor. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people with similar interests.

Counselor Reviews

"Steve has been integral in introducing me to grounding techniques, encouraging me to seek out mindfulness, and is always supportive in my own strides to foster a healthier lifestyle."

"Galina was warm, friendly and a great listener. I really valued all her knowledge about areas that really interest me: mindfulness, the negative bias, anxiety calming methods, etc."

FAQs

What does the mindfulness symbol mean?

The symbol for mindfulness is a water drop with a unique design. The mindfulness symbol is supposed to represent a moment in the present, which is a central theme of all things mindful. The vertical part of it is about the time. The future and past are both two obstacles we must face. Spending too much time worrying about the future and regretting the past is not what mindfulness is about. Meanwhile, the horizontal part is the world around you. The 360 degrees that surround you are a central theme in mindfulness.

The mindfulness symbol is presented in the center as the present. What is going on in the here and now? When a water drop hits the ground, it's a perfect example of the here and now. But the mindfulness symbol goes a little deeper than that.

Let's talk about the symbol of a water drop for a second. Water can be a way to represent how to make your mind. When you make your mind be formless, just like water, it can adapt to all kinds of situations. You may also notice that the mindfulness symbol is mirrored. Mirrors are often associated with illusion. The mindfulness symbol teaches us that the past and present are merely illusions, and what's going on in the present is the most important.

For some, the mindfulness symbol doesn't seem that deep, but once you analyze it, you'll discover that the mindfulness symbol is as deep as they come, and these symbols work as a reminder to be in the present day.

The symbol can represent equanimity, or the state you have when you're undisturbed by all of life's trials and tribulations, such as pain. The Buddhist equanimity symbol reminder isn't there to tell you that you can't have emotions about certain events, but that with time, learning to be undisturbed by them is wise.

What is a Unalome?

The unalome symbol is found in Buddhist culture. This symbol uses spirals, and these spirals are symbols for how life twists and turns. Life can be quite unpredictable, even if you live a mundane existence, and the Unalome symbol is the perfect representation of this. The symbol also has straight lines. Once you become enlightened or harmonious with life, then your life straightens up.

You'll also see dots at the end of the Unalome. These represent death. Dots represent fading away, or going into the unknown. The Unalome can be represented in different ways, and some people will get a symbol reminder tattoo as a way of showcasing how life is. Some will have a symbol reminder tattoo represented by flowers, hearts, or anything else.

What does the Buddhist symbol mean?

Let's take a look at a few Buddhist symbols and tell you their meanings.

Om

Om, or Aum, is used in Buddhism as well as other religions. In Buddhism, it represents the body of Buddha, his spirit, and his speech.

Bell

The bell is an important symbol in Buddhism. Instead of being loud, the Buddhist bell is gentle and helps the monks focus on being in the present moment. In mindfulness, this may be referred to as the mindfulness bell. Setting up your own mindfulness bells can remind you to be aware of the present moment any way you can. The bell is meant to be the voice of Buddha.

Bodhi Tree and Leaf

Buddha first awakened when he was under the bodhi tree, a fig tree that is sacred in the Buddhist religion. The word "Bodhi" means "awakening." The symbol of the tree is meant to represent the enlightenment of Buddha. The leaf symbolizes all of us. We all can become enlightened, just like Buddha.

Enso

This is a circle, which is usually incomplete or roughly drawn, but sometimes the opposite. It can symbolize imperfection, beauty, and other parts of life, and can symbolize the mindfulness within.

Lion

The symbol of the lion in Buddhism is not too different than what a lion represents in other interpretations. The lion can symbolize bravery, or being the king. In the context of Buddhism, it symbolizes the royalty of the Buddha and his courage towards the suffering of others.

Lotus

The lotus flower symbolizes the awakening of the Buddha and how others can awaken. The flower is known to grow out of mud, which makes it a good representation of rising above the challenges of life, or finding beauty in something that looks muddy at first. For some, a flower may not be too deep of a symbol, but once you loo into it, you may be surprised with how much it can represent.

Mala

These are beads. It can be anywhere from 9 to 108 beads. The bead represents a person, but these people are all connected. No matter how much you set yourself apart, you are connected to others, be it friends, family, loved ones, or anyone else you've encountered in you life. It shows the unity of people, despite their differences.

Pearl

A pearl can be a beautiful jewel that is worth money, but in Buddhism, it symbolizes being rich in spirituality. It shows there is a lot to gain if you follow Buddha's teachings. The pearl symbol is more than just a circle. It can have a pointed top, be surrounded in flames, or have other ways of symbolizing it.

Swastika

In the West, the swastika symbol has a bad reputation due to its association with the Nazis. However, the Nazi swastika is known as the inverted swastika, which was a rotation of the original symbol. In Buddhism, the swastika has been around for many years, and is a positive symbol. In many cultures, it symbolizes positivity, peace, and good luck. However, in Buddhism, it also symbolizes the Buddha's heart or mind.

Vajra

This is a symbol of a club, and it's meant to represent force and indestructibility. It can mean that you're strong and can cut if you need to. However, the cutting is not violent, but instead meant to symbolize cutting misconceptions.

Other Concepts

Consciousness

Being aware of your existence and the world around you is valuable, and a consciousness symbol reminder tattoo can tell you that you're mindful of your existence and value the ability to experience the world through your eyes. One symbol for this is the Circum Point, which is a circle with a dot in the center. It can symbolize your place in this world. You are a small, but significant dot in the bigger picture.

Equanimity Symbol Search Results

This is usually represented through the mindfulness drop. The Zen Buddhist Equanimity Symbol, reminder tattoo or just an image on your screen, can remind you that being mindful and letting go of what is disturbing you is the way to live your life. Just like a water drop, live in the present moment, and learn to ride with the ripples.

Mindfulness Jewelry

Some people, while not inherently religious about mindfulness, may get reminders of mindfulness through rings, necklaces, and wristbands. Some people may use words as jewelry to remind them to live in the present moment. Others may choose the equanimity symbol.

What symbolizes living life to the fullest?

"Live life to the fullest" is a piece of advice that is generic, yet it's true. You should live your life to the best you can, because from what you can observe because this is the only observable life you can live. While we all have our beliefs about what happens after this life, it's important to do the most you can while you're alive.

There is no set symbol for living life to the fullest. Many may just choose the Ankh or other symbols of life in order to get the most out of their existence. They may get a subjective tattoo telling them to live life to the fullest. Others may get a tattoo that symbolizes time and how little there is. This reminder tattoo is a good thing, as many people waste their life until it's too late. A reminder tattoo can tell you how much life you have left.

What is the synonym of mindful?

The best synonym of being mindful is being aware. With mindfulness, you're aware of your thoughts, your surroundings, and the present moment in general.

Another synonym is being in the moment. You're not worried about the past or the future, but instead the here and now. While you may have some intrusive thoughts, you just let them be, just the way it should be.

What does the ENSO circle mean?

When you look at the Enso circle, you may wonder what it means. It's an incomplete circle, and a Zen Buddhism symbol. It can be symbolic of many different aspects of the self and life in general. Here are a few interpretations of the Enso circle:

  • Imperfection. Since the circle is a little misshapen and incomplete, it's a reminder that nothing in life is perfect, and that embracing imperfection's beauty is a good way to live your life. Sometimes, you need to let go of your expectations.
  • It can symbolize the circle of life. Its missing part could be a symbol that life eventually ends, or that life can be a little unpredictable at times.
  • It can symbolize mindfulness. Letting go of the things that bother you, learning to accept your flaws, and being in the moment.

Is it disrespectful to get an Unalome tattoo?

Some people like getting a symbol reminder tattoo and one of those tattoos they may choose is the Unalome. However, it may be considered disrespectful in some parts. In Eastern countries, tattoos may be considered disrespectful in general, especially around impure areas such as your feet. In some places in the West, people may say you're being disrespectful for the religion if you're not a part of it. With that said, if the symbol has meaning to you and you know its history, it's up to you.

What does the lotus tattoo mean?

The lotus is a tattoo that can have various meanings. In Buddhism, it was the first flower, so it has much symbolism in the religion. Lotuses are occurring in mud, so many see a beautiful lower in something considered ugly like mud to be a symbol of breaking past the struggle. It may represent rebirth as well. If you've experienced a life change, rising from the mud can represent that.

Also, a lotus tattoo could mean that someone considers themselves an exceptional individual, being able to rise above the problems of life and above every exception life has for you, and being yourself as a result.

Some people who have a lotus tattoo just like it because they believe it's pretty, and that's okay, too. That's another valid reason to get a tattoo.

Which way should Unalome face?

The Unalome can face either left or right. If you believe it doesn't matter which direction it faces, you're mistaken. Depending on what direction, the Unalome can symbolize that you have masculine or feminine energy. When the Unalome faces right, it's masculine. Left, it's feminine.

What are the 3 main Buddhist symbols?

Buddhism has many symbols, but if you're looking for the big three, one of those symbols is the Triratna, or the Three Jewels. One jewel symbolizes Buddha. Another symbolizes Dharma, or the teachings. Then, you have Sangha, which is the community of monks, or the monastic community. Buddhism, just like any other religions, has many symbols.

What is a symbol of kindness?

Kindness can be represented by various symbols. One of them is the heart. The heart represents love, but it can represent being kind to one another, too. Kindness can be represented by two hands shaking, too. Any symbol that invokes feelings cf compassion, love, or any other positive feeling can be a kindness symbol.

What is the Buddhist symbol for love?

In Buddhism, the symbol for love is known as the eternal or endless knot. This symbol also represents compassion and wisdom. Its intertwining nature can represent how love is a complex web, and it also shows off the karmic web. Time is also a common representation, showing how endless it can be.

What is a symbol of life?

Life can be represented by quite a few symbols. One popular one is from Egypt. It is known as the Ankh, and it literally means the word "life." A few other symbols of life include religious symbols and the Yin and Yang. Anything that has a feeling of life to it could be a symbol of life.

What is a symbol of hope?

There are many symbols that could represent hope. Hope, especially in uncertain times, can keep people going. For some, the sun is a symbol of hope, symbolizing a brand new day. For others, a bird such as a dove or swallow can symbolize hope. Hope can be represented through a religious symbol too, showing that God always has a plan no matter what. An anchor is another common hope symbol.

For some, they have their own symbols of hope. You don't need to adopt a certain symbol if you don't resonate with it.

What does a teardrop tattoo mean?

A teardrop tattoo, which is commonly associated with prison culture, has many different meanings. Some of them are a little graphic, including mentions of rape, so read at your own risk.

For some, it symbolizes that a person has gone to prison before. It may be used by someone's companion to show support when they go to prison or go to a hospital. It could indicate that someone has lost a family member or friend. In some prisons, particularly the more violent ones, it could mean that the person with a tattoo was the victim of rape or other sexual assault, and the tattoo was the symbol of humiliation. It could be a symbol of someone dying, especially a dead friend or family member.

Sometimes, a teardrop tattoo doesn't have any set meaning, or the meaning is specific to the person and may not be known.

What is another word for Zen?

Zen can have many synonyms, and a few of them include meditation, enlightenment, and being above it all. When you have health for both mind and body, you've reached a state of zen, and this can help you out in many different ways.

What is the opposite of mindfulness?

There are many words that can be considered to be the opposite of mindfulness. These include:

  • Unawareness. We aren't aware of our thoughts and emotions that are in the present.
  • Apathy. We may notice what's in the present, but we don't care enough to observe it.
  • Worry. The opposite of mindfulness tends to involve both the mind and body worrying about the future. Mindfulness, meanwhile, teaches you to be aware of the here and now.

What does it mean to be mindful?

Mindfulness is a term that can have many definitions, but the most widely accepted definition is that mindfulness is the observance of the present in a nonjudgemental way. We have thoughts, feelings, and moments that we're having in the here and now, and mindfulness teaches you to be aware of everything and not let any self-defeating thoughts get you down. You observe your mind and your body, along with the outside world. The idea of mindfulness has been around for a while, especially in Eastern religions, but it has recently been popular in the west.

You don't empty your mind over mindfulness. Instead, the practice involves you taking any thoughts you may have and not giving any self-defeating ones any mind. Don't let them control any aspect of your life.

If one wants to practice being mindful, you don't need to be religious about mindfulness. It's a practice that has seen some secular popularity as of late. Mindfulness is widely accepted in all parts of the world, and it can help with many mental and physical health problems. Any introduction to mindfulness guide may be able to help you be more mindful. Some guides will practice not just mindfulness, meditation, and being fully aware of the present, but also teach you some cognitive behavioral therapy.

Your mind is an instrument, and mindfulness can teach you how to play it to its fullest potential. Through meditation, being aware of your surroundings, and keeping track of your thoughts, you can be more mindful.

Conclusion

Mindfulness is a wonderful tool that can benefit your mental health. As with anything, there is a bit of a learning curve to practicing mindfulness, but once you understand the basics, you'll begin to reap the rewards. You can lead a more peaceful and happy life with the right tools and the right support. Take the first step today.


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