You might have heard these terms before, but what do they really mean? And why are they important for your well-being?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, sensations and surroundings in the present moment, without judging them as good or bad. It’s a way of being aware of what’s happening inside and outside of you, without getting caught up in the past or the future.
What does it mean to Live in the Present?
Living in the present is the result of being mindful. It means focusing on what you are doing right now, rather than worrying about what might happen later or regretting what happened before. It means enjoying the simple pleasures of life, such as a beautiful sunset, a warm hug or a delicious meal.
What are the benefits of Mindfulness and Living in the Present?
- It can reduce stress and anxiety by helping you cope with challenging situations and emotions.
- It can improve your mood and happiness by making you more grateful and optimistic.
- It can enhance your relationships by making you more attentive and empathetic.
- It can boost your creativity and productivity by helping you focus and solve problems.
How can you practice mindfulness and living in the present?
You may find it difficult to completely focus on the present, we all have that internal voice that keeps reminding us of past events or concerns about the future.
Here are a few ways you can practice:
- Start your day with a few minutes of meditation. You can use an app, a guided audio or just sit quietly, paying attention to your breath.
- Throughout the day, check in with yourself and notice how you are feeling and what you are thinking. Don’t judge or criticize yourself, just be curious and compassionate.
- Whenever you find yourself distracted by the past or the future, gently bring your attention back to the present. You can use a mantra, a word or a phrase that helps you stay focused, such as “here and now” or “this too shall pass”. Another way to stop the flow of thoughts is to silently say to yourself ‘what is my next thought going to be?’ This interrupts the thought pattern and puts you in the present.
- Try to do one thing at a time and give it your full attention. Whether it’s eating, working, reading or talking to someone, be fully engaged and avoid multitasking.
- Find opportunities to appreciate the beauty and joy of the present moment. You can spend more time in nature, keep a gratitude journal, take photos of things that make you smile or share your positive experiences with others.
Little by Little
It’s not necessary to be mindful all the time, or even possible unless you are a Buddhist monk and even then I’m not so sure. We make plans for the future and learn from the past. However, the more you practice then the more you will enjoy the benefits and find it more natural to be mindful and present. You will become more aware when your mind is racing and observe your thought patterns and how they are making you feel, which in turn will make it easier to use some of the methods above.
Even if you only find ten minutes a day to practice, you can benefit from it, you can practice it while you are in a traffic jam, waiting for an appointment, taking a shower and getting dressed. Making the effort to switch off your mind will give you a break from stress and anxiety, bring you peace and happiness and will make a big difference in your life. Give it a try!
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you like this article please take look at some of my other pages or blog posts where I talk about different therapies and my own wellbeing journey and if you’d like to see future posts then please enter your email address and click on the subscribe button below and you will be notified of future content. I have no plans to use your email address for any other purpose. Feel free to share my page with anyone you feel may be interested and if you have any feedback about what I write or suggestions for further articles then please use the comment box further down the page. Warmest Wishes, Janet x
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