Being Mindful in Your Everyday Life
By Tish King | January 29, 2018
This month Solace would like to remind you to be mindful in your everyday life and in your professional life. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and in the moment. Practicing mindfulness can lead to increased calmness, happiness, appreciation, and relaxation.
As we live our busy lives it is often difficult to remember to be mindful. We are constantly looking to the past to inform our future and overly aware of future goals and decisions. While both practices are useful we can begin to forget that neither the past nor the future in happening right now, only the present.
Dr. Elyssa Barbash says, “Have you ever heard the saying ‘don’t let the future steal your present?’ This statement...teaches the importance of mindfulness...I often tell my patients that depression lives in the past and anxiety lives in the future. Alternately, calmness and peace of mind live in the present.”
So how can we fit mindfulness into our busy schedule? By sprinkling it throughout the day. Practicing mindfulness does not have to be scheduled in, it’s simply a way of recognizing what your brain is doing and guiding it to the present. For instance, when having an enjoyable time with friends and family, we may find ourselves distracted, instead of being in the present.
How do we enjoy the present? Well, there are numerous mindfulness exercises, but at the end of the day mindfulness is as easy as remembering to do it. Over the last few days I’ve attempted to fit a bit of mindfulness in (when ever I could remember) no matter where I was, or what I was doing. I remembered to do this by making it a little game, every time I caught myself thinking about the past or the future I shifted my thoughts to the present.
It was strange at first, because the present is always happening, but it’s usually in the background of my thoughts. Even when having a conversation we often end up thinking about what the person said in the past or what we will say next. So attempting to focus and give all my attention to what was happening right then was a muscle I had not stretched in a very long time. But as with anything, as I remembered to keep doing it, it became easier to adjust my mindset.
In the book Cultivating Your Everyday Mindfulness, Brad Waters speaks about how mindfulness can simply be a part of your day rather than an additional routine. What does waking up mindfully look like? What does showering and going about your morning routine mindfully look like? What does eating, driving, and working mindfully look like?
This exercise was a breath of fresh air for me, it was a few small moments throughout the day that were mine, and I didn’t have to schedule it in or go out of my way. I just did it when I remembered. And at the end of the day, do we really need these moments to remind ourselves to pick up the dry cleaning or buy yogurt at the grocery store? Not really. So let’s reclaim these precious few moments as ours, and make it a priority to be more mindful in 2018.
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