Mindfulness means paying attention and being present in the moment that you currently find yourself. It’s something that we can practice everyday at every moment. I find when I'm able to be present in the current activity whether thats a conversation or an everyday tasks like washing the dishes I feel happy.
The majority of our problems are made worse by thinking about them, projecting ourselves into a fabricated future scenario that never comes to fruition. By living in the moment you avoid the anxiety and pain of worry. How many times have you replayed an event over and over in your head that never ends up happening or if it does happen it’s not nearly as bad as the terrible life ending scene you envisioned?
Mindfulness is about enjoying your life in the only moment you have, which is right now. Your past is over and the future may never come. You have this moment and that is all, what’s the use in worrying or feeling anxious about things to come, you are probably living a fairly comfortable existence without having to think about future events that may or may not happen.
There are times throughout the day that are easier for us to be mindful and get out of our heads. I find the shower is a relaxing environment in which to be present and focus on the sensation of water on my skin and the smell of the soap and shampoo. Exercising is another time I find it easier to focus on what I'm doing without thinking about what’s next. Feeling your muscles strain and paying attention to a lift or exercise requires just enough mental energy to prevent me from thinking about anything else. Mindfulness is just that, paying attention to what you are doing, what’s in front of you and getting out of the stream of thoughts that run through our heads daily. Mindfulness is like active meditation, it’s clearing your mind of thoughts and getting into the flow state.
I’ve found that by being more mindful I can enjoy tasks that would otherwise be considered chores. Things like washing the dishes or folding the laundry become enjoyable when you stop viewing them as tasks that you need to get done in order to get to the fun parts of life. We live in a fast paced society and everywhere we go there are things vying for our attention which makes it all the harder to live a mindful life. Our attention spans are dwindling because we have access to everything at the touch of our fingers, we no longer have to wait.
5 Ways to practice being more mindful in your own life.
1) leave your phone at home every once in a while, people were able to get by without cell phones for a long time, no one needs to get ahold of you that badly and if they do they'll find a way.
2) Work and play from a schedule, you might think that playing from a schedule doesn't sound like the most mindful experience, but I find that if I know I have X amount of time set aside on my schedule I don't have to worry about anything else. If I book in my schedule to golf from 2-6 in the afternoon and I know the rest of my work is done and I don't have any overlapping engagements I can go golfing and focus on the game without having to worry if I'm forgetting something.
3) Create spaces in your life to be more mindful. have a spot in your house where you put your phone so that when you need to do something on it you go to that spot do what you need to do and then leave your phone there. Eliminate as many distractions as you can so that you have time in the day to be still and reflect.
4) Turn off push notifications. I have my texts and phone calls on, I don't need to receive a notification that so and so posted something new or liked a photo or sent me a message. These are all distractions that make living mindfully challenging. Our phones are tools and they're super useful, but if you look around it seems as though our phones are using us. We’ve become glued to them unable to set them down or leave home without them. I can completely understand wanting to have your phone with you at all times, I use my phone for work and there can be important phone calls missed if I don't have my phone. However most of the time I know when those important calls are coming in and if it’s not one of those times I will often leave my phone at home.
5) Be aware of your scrolling time. We’re living through the wild west of technological development and our brains haven't caught up. We’re addicted to shiny photos, and we have access to more information and video than ever before and it’s a great thing. I love the access that we have in this day and age, and all the tools and social media. It’s fantastic stuff and it’s fun and it can make life better, but if you let these things become distractions from your real life that’s where it becomes detrimental.
So stop and smell the roses because that’s what makes life great. The more time you can spend aware of the small beautiful moments in life, appreciating the magic that is this ball of dirt flying through space the happier you will be. The moments are all we have, we are perpetually living one moment at a time and it’s what we do we these moments that determine how we feel about our life.