One of the hardest skills to develop is the ability to be in the moment.
How often do you see people walking whilst on their phone? How many people do you know that scroll through social media whilst sitting next to someone they care about? How many times do you find yourself doing more then one thing at once?
Human beings – the masters of mindlessness. So often seen rushing from one thing to another, or trying to do several things at once.
But how about mastering the ability to be mindful??
Being truly mindful provides us with a greater sense of connection. In many ways it can feel as though you are truly waking up. Feeling alive even. Coming back from a place where you existed – but did not really feel. You functioned but you did not notice. A place where you found it hard to question or challenge your thought processes and often felt absorbed in negativity.
Mindfulness is something that we often hear about. But what does it truly mean?? How does it feel? And how do we go about learning to practice it??
Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and environment in every moment – without passing any kind of judgement. This means hearing, experiencing, recognising – but not responding. As a result, any negativity can be let go of.
To develop our ability to be present in the moment, we need to learn how to focus on the here and now. This can be done by paying attention to our breathing and to our body. If we focus on our breath and slowing it down, then we are truly connecting to ourselves. This enables us to be still.
Mindful breathing mediation is something that all of us can incorporate into our everyday life. Whether we are walking, sat, or lying down. We can all take just a few moments to refocus. Eyes open or eyes closed – it does not matter. For some people it can be done through yoga, for others through focusing on an object such as a candle. The key is slowing the breath, calming the thought’s, and engaging with yourself. Right in the current moment.
In turn we can learn how to send away the thoughts that come into our heads and to focus entirely on being present in the moment. It is important to note that thoughts and feelings will always come up. Especially when we first try and practice being mindful. They key is to hear them, recognise them and feel them – without any judgement. And to then work towards letting them go. Sending them away – metaphorically perhaps seeing them float out to sea. They key is finding a method and visualisation that works for you.
We can’t avoid or suppress our thoughts and feelings – that will only lead to things like stress, depression, addiction, insomnia, illness etc. If however we learn to sit with them, to recognise them and to then let them go, we will in turn be healthier, happier, calmer and in a much more positive place.
The art of being in the moment. It may sound more complex than it is. What it really means is removing distractions such as the phone, music, television etc. It means stopping in the day and being still. It means taking some time (no matter how small) to focus on being silent, to focus on breathing, and to focus on yourself. It means being able to totally be. Can you picture that?
It is not easy to do at first – it takes time and patience. It requires trust in the process and the ability to work towards letting things go. It means putting effort into accepting things as they are. Moving away from trying to change things and moving towards a compassionate experience of the present moment. Being truly mindful means to move towards a place of observation and away from a place of analysis, judgement, and an attempt to change things. If we can master this – then we can enjoy things so much more. We can become more connected, more present, and more engaged. As a result, our relationships will be more positive, we will be healthier and happier, our creativity and productivity will flourish, and we will suffer less from anxiety and depression.
What would it be like to go for a mindful walk? A slow pace where you truly take in all your surroundings? Where you are not rushing and not thinking about what you are doing next. On that walk could you imagine hearing the birds sing, truly looking at the leaves, taking in the view etc. How calm would you feel if you could do that? How would your breathing be? How still would your mind be?
What would it be like to eat mindfully? To slow down and enjoy the food you are having. To appreciate the taste, the smell etc. To be thankful for what you are having and aware of how you are nurturing your body.
There are many more examples of when you could be more mindful. Just think – how would it be if you were working more mindfully, parenting more mindfully, socially being mindful. Imagine how focused you would be with someone if you were totally 110% with them. You might hear or notice things that you had never noticed before.
Ultimately being mindful is about clearing your mind of all distractions and fully being present. By doing this you will be so much more appreciative and grateful of what and who you have around you. Instead of focusing on the past or worrying about the future, you will be able to embrace the present. And instead of getting absorbed in negativity you will be able to radiate positivity. This will have such an impact on your life. After all the energy we put out directly relates to the energy we get back.