Do you switch off during the day and go into auto pilot? Do you check your phone on more than one occasion and within a short time frame? Do you sometimes forget to be present and smell the roses?
If this is you and you feel that life is passing you by, you’re not alone. Most of us have felt this way at some stage in this fast-paced life of ours; others feel it every day by switching into automatic mode during repetitive and mundane tasks.
If this is you, there are simple ways to help slow down the pace and bring more meaning into your day. So what can you do?
Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great way to bring more meaning and contentedness into our life. It’s about wholeheartedly focusing on the present moment, with openness and without judgement. Focusing on what we can see, hear, smell and experience…
The research shows that with regular practice, mindfulness can reduce our stress, improve our memory and focus, and even benefit our physical health and overall wellbeing.
Want some specific examples to help you be more mindful during the day?
Heading out for a walk/run or a bike ride?
Totally immerse yourself in the activity – how does it feel? What can you see? What can you hear? Deliberately focus on that particular moment without thinking about your destination or what’s planned for the day…
Engross yourself totally in the program. Try not to think about what you’re going to do next or what’s for dinner; be in the present moment giving yourself permission to totally relax.
Eating lunch or enjoying a treat?
Take your time. Eat slowly, savouring every bite. What is it exactly that you are tasting? What is it about this particular meal that you are enjoying?
Spending time with your family?
Appreciate the time you have with them; give them your full attention.
Listen to your children intently with an open heart and without judgement. Devote yourself to them without thinking about the chores that need to be done, or the amount of work that your boss expects you to finish by the end of the week.
When you’re working, work, and when you’re with your family, be with your family.
Practice a little mindfulness today…
Whatever the day holds for you, practice a little mindfulness today, and every day. By doing so, we can reap many benefits.
Mindfulness slows our busy lives. It can help improve our mental and physical health by reducing our stress and any concerns we may have of the future.
Mindfulness can enrich our lives by bringing calmness and clarity – upsetting events have less of an emotional impact on us when we routinely practice mindfulness… At the end of the day, all that matters is the present moment, the here-and-now and how we choose to live it.
Mindfulness can also help us relate to others and ourselves in a way that is kind, accepting and compassionate.
Like developing any skill however, practicing mindfulness takes time and perseverance – just focusing on what you are experiencing for a few moments is a great starts and the first step in the right direction.