Have you ever been driving down the highway and then all of a sudden you realize you must have been thinking so deeply because you don’t remember passing all those exits? It feels a little scary that your mind can distract you so much that you mindlessly made it home without thinking. That experience is exactly the opposite of being mindful or stopping to smell the roses or appreciating those daily moments.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone or tried to have a conversation with someone and their eyes are sort of glazed over? They are not really listening or paying attention. Then you ask a question and they say, “Oh what were saying?” Their minds were so distracted that clearly, they were in another world.
When we are so deep in thought that we cannot pay attention to what is happening around us, we clearly have something on our minds. So what can you do?
MEDITATE: I begin my day with a ten- or twenty-minute meditation. I do not meditate as a religious practice nor a spiritual one, just as a breathing, mind clearing, resetting, clarifying experience. I sit on my stool comfortably with my hands on my lap, eyes closed, and breath. I count my breaths – in for one, out for two, in for three, out for four, etc. up to ten. Then I start again. I clear my head. Empty my thoughts. That’s it. Thoughts come and go. I concentrate on my breath. Check out the Headspace App.
Meditation is so simple but so effective. You will notice a significant difference in about two to three weeks. Start with ten minutes a day and work up to twenty if you want.
SLOW DOWN: Stop rushing around. Do one thing at a time. Stop multi-tasking. Productivity people will cringe at me saying that, but you will actually do more and do it better by not trying to do it all! Focus on your task at hand and finish it. Take a break and then do the next thing.
BE MINDFUL: Keep your mind and your senses alert to what you are presently doing. If you are working on a project, think about the project and not on what you are cooking for dinner. If you are washing dishes, think about the warm water and the meal you just ate and not about the drama happening at work. The more you practice mindfulness, the more it will become natural for you. Focus on the present and what is happening right before you.
Life will become richer, fuller, and more meaningful when you live in the daily moments. You will listen better, relationships will become deeper and you will see your surrounding in a more appreciative way!
The image was taken by Kirill Vasilev and can be found on Unsplash.com here: