I can’t say for sure, but I imagine that back in the good ol’ days before widespread technology and internet, it was easier to make time for things like meditation, reading, taking walks, enjoying the company of family and friends, and other forms of “doing nothing.”
But these days, our minds are so persistently occupied and entertained that it can be a challenge to slow down, be grateful for what we have, and simply appreciate quietude.
The result? Chronic stress, anxiety, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, emotional eating, unhappiness, obesity, and other modern diseases that are overwhelmingly attributed to lifestyle imbalance. All because our minds are so crowded with information that we lose our ability to hear the whispers of our own bodies and souls, not to mention the expressed emotions of others.
That’s one of the reasons I practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is simply being consciously aware of the present moment, and it can easily apply to anything that you do. It’s about recognizing the significance of what’s happening right now without judgment, attachment, or thoughts about the past or future.
For example, wherever you are and whatever else is on your mind right now, just pause for a moment and bring attention to how you are here, reading this post, and that everything is ok. Smile, relax, and move consciously into each moment that follows you throughout the day, knowing that while individual moments are fleeting, it is always your choice whether to truly live them or let them pass you by.
When you apply mindfulness to everyday life, magical things begin to happen. You realize what is truly important, make better decisions about how to spend your time, have more control over how you react in stressful situations, and you just feel… calmer, more peaceful, happier.
Not only will this add years to your life by reducing stress, it will positively impact everyone around you because you will radiate with greater joy and equanimity.
Give it a try for a few days and see how you feel. Simply bring more conscious attention to every moment, appreciate the good moments more deeply, and accept the not-so-good moments with greater ease. Take it further by closing your eyes, being still, and simply feeling yourself breathe as you experience the sounds and sensations around you.
Interested in more instruction in applying mindfulness to your life? Here’s a great book that can help.
What are your thoughts on mindfulness? Please share in the comments below.