Do you find yourself rushing around to accomplish necessary daily tasks and losing connection with the present moment? Sometimes we get so caught up in a mind full of thoughts that we literally forget to stop and smell the flowers.
We often find our minds full of useless thoughts about the past and future, what tasks we still haven’t done, and “What if?” questions. But we miss out on what we’re actually doing and feeling.
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present. It has been found to be a key element in happiness.
Mindfulness can improve wellbeing by supporting many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Focusing on the here and now makes it easier to enjoy the pleasures in life as they occur. It makes it easier to be fully engaged in activities. People who practice mindfulness have found that they are less likely to worry about the future or have regrets about the past.
Mindfulness can also help improve physical health.
Scientists have discovered that it can help relieve stress, treat heart disease,lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
Psychotherapists have listed mindfulness meditation as an important treatment of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Here are some common situations in which practicing mindfulness can be useful:
• Helps keep you from zoning out while driving
• Calms anxiety when going to the dentist
• Makes everyday chores less “robotic”
• Causes you to think clearly and react appropriately in uncomfortable situations
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t always have to be during sitting meditation.
Start incorporating mindfulness into your daily life while taking a walk, playing fetch with your dog, doing yoga, running, or having a laugh with a friend.
Observe your feelings and how your senses are stimulated during each activity without any judgment.
Bring your mind into the present!