How to Be Mindful
By Dr Dunner January 16, 2018
Have you ever looked down at your phone and then 30 minutes goes by without you even realizing it? Maybe even an hour? Have you ever driven somewhere, only to realize that you don’t remember the last 10 or 15 miles? What you’re experiencing is mindlessness. What if you could calculate all of those minutes and miles that you were on autopilot - how much time have you lost?
What is mindfulness?
Being mindful is being actively aware of your thoughts, your actions, and your surroundings. Being mindful is being present, focusing on your current experience, rather than lingering on the past or anticipating the future.
Why does it matter?
In the busy, over-connected world we live in today, it’s easy to turn your brain off and enter autopilot just to make it through the day, the week, the month. However, when we do this, we often lose sight of what’s happening around us — the beauty in life or what our bodies are trying to tell us. When we let ourselves do this, we are trying to speed through life rather than really living. When we do this, we also become more prone to anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, studies show that people who let their minds wander are often less happy and that mindfulness can help reduce some of these destructive emotions by helping you appreciate your surroundings. Mindfulness is also linked with improving memory, focus and attention.
3 Ways You Can Start Being Mindful (Right Now).
So, what can you do to start being mindful, right now.
Listen. Have you ever met someone and before the introduction was over you forgot their name? Yes. One way you can start mindfuless today is to stop hearing and to start listening. Pay attention to not only what someone is saying with their mouth, but with their facial expression and body language also. Be present in the conversation and do not let you rmind wander onto something else.
Take a break. Our minds and bodies need breaks throughout the day. Being mindful doesn’t mean never allowing your mind to wander, but rather knowing when it’s acceptable to allow it. Motivate yourself to be productive, and then reward yourself with brief breaks to reflect.
Be present in your daily routine. When you take a shower and love the feeling of the warm water on your skin or the smell of your soap, appreciate it. A shower doesn’t have to be just a step in your daily routine, but rather something that you enjoy.
Being mindful is all about appreciating the small things in life, and not letting the stress and anxiety of the past and future to bog you down. You can’t control either, but what you can control is how you let them affect you.