Did you know that your mind wanders about half of the time? That’s what Harvard found in their worldwide study released in 2010. Yet, the present moment is the only time that you can fully live and enjoy your life. When you are distracted, it’s hard to be your best self. So how can we learn to focus more on the moment?
1. What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice to pay attention to the present moment without judgment. When you are distracted, you function on autopilot, able to do things, but like a robot. When your mind drifts, it can often take you to your worries. Mindfulness practice helps you to be aware of, and actively engage with your thoughts, to be able to return to the present moment fully. It can also help you accept what is happening in the present moment, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
It’s good to plan for the future and to remember the past, but when your mind drags you to fears and worries, it’s not helpful. And, judging is not helpful either. Whenever you are judging the moment, you are constricting, as if you are looking through a straw… missing the fullness of the moment. And, when you are caught in judgments of self or others in the past or future, you are causing tension in your body and mind.
2. Is Mindfulness about accepting everything in the moment?
Being in the moment non-judgmentally means to be in the here and now with curiosity, openness and a willingness to be with what is. People often think of that last phrase as taking a passive approach to stressors in life, but true mindfulness is paying attention to what is happening in the present – around you and within you– and choosing wise speech and action. Mindfulness is a practice to become aware of stressors in your life, accept their reality, and then to learn how to address them effectively. Studies have shown that actively addressing the patterns of stress, rather than to passively ignore them, actually provides more relief.
3. Why is mindfulness important?
Mindfulness is important because it takes you out of the thoughts you cannot control and brings you to this moment, connected in mind and body. Mindfulness takes you out of autopilot, slows down the hustle, allows you to release judgment and comparison thoughts and enables you to experience and appreciate what is happening. It makes you feel more fully alive without the draining worries of what’s to come, the daunting to-do list or trying to multitask.
Practicing mindfulness is going to your mental gym. It brings benefits to mind and body, slowing down heart rate, boosting your immune system, relieving stress, reducing chronic pain, and even alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties. It also builds gray matter in your brain in 8 key areas which are the newer parts of the brain. It is shown that people who practice mindfulness regularly have overall fewer health problems, carry less stress, and are more at peace with their daily circumstances. We are here to help educate and equip you to make mindfulness a habit in your life. To learn more about incorporating mindfulness into your own life, contact us or sign up for one of our upcoming classes.