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What Happened to Living In the Moment? 5 Tips to Remaster “Mindfulness”

By: NCSF  on:  Dec 11 2017
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Your activity tracker beeps drawing your attention. Then you receive a notification from Instagram that someone just commented on your picture of lunch. Then your sister texts you. Distractions in our daily life, specifically digital ones, are increasing and making it tougher to focus on the moment.

Just think about it… do you find yourself checking your social media updates on your phone while also trying to watch a movie with your significant other?

Do you get home from work and not remember anything that happened on the ride home?

Do you run a couple errands on the weekend and forget the most important thing you needed to get done while you were out?

These are common examples of not being focused on the moment and task at hand that most people can relate to. When the mind is cluttered it fails to fully focus on any one task.

Mindfulness can be defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment. When used as a therapeutic technique it often involves calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and sensations. This has become a diminishing art form in today’s busy, multi-tasking society.

So how can a person snap themselves out of autopilot?

Some well-being specialists recommend stopping all activity for 5 minutes each day (multiple bouts if possible) to be present in your body and be aware of your breathing and heart rates. This is said to help develop a small habit of just slowing down and resetting your brain during a whirlwind of a day – which can translate into a better ability to focus on what you need to do next without any distractions.

The following include a few simple yet practical mindfulness activities that can be incorporated into one’s lifestyle to make them more self-aware - and an eventual master of mindfulness for improved focus, lowered stress, reduced conflicts, and enhanced decision-making skills over time.

  • Take a Walk: Taking a quiet walk around your neighborhood after a long day can be useful. Make an effort to notice specific sights, sounds and smells and embrace your feelings in the present moment. Try to walk near natural elements if possible.
  • Listen to a Song: Music can be very soothing yet energizing and used to relax the mind. Listen for specific key changes, crescendos, and changes in tempo or just focus on enjoying the song.
  • Stop Checking the News and Phone Updates All Day: News is seldom good or useful for helping one live in the moment – and if something truly monumental happens, chances are you will hear of it without constantly checking updates. Get the important basics in the morning and then disconnect for the day until the evening news if you really like to stay updated. This is a key yet challenging practice for improved happiness.
  • Accept Your Emotions: Allow yourself to feel emotions as they come throughout the day and try not to pass negative judgement on yourself for them (unless they are truly misplaced). Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go as quickly as they came.
  • Practice Mindful Appreciation: At the end of the day take time to notice/write down 5 things that happened in your day that were seemingly insignificant blessings that went unappreciated. These can be objects, occurrences or people. Things as simple as minimal traffic on the way to work, the smell of flowers in a park, or the compliment someone gave you on your hair or clothes should be noted for improved appreciation of the little things over time.
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