► Why Do We Have “Whoops Moments?
► Okay, What Is Mindfulness?
Being, or living in the moment, is often referred to by its other name, Mindfulness. Either way, it means consciousness of the present, an awareness of yourself and all that is affecting you at this very moment - not a moment ago, and not the next upcoming moment. And by definition, it also means having no thoughts that are not immediate; no thinking of what you should have done, no thinking about what you are going to do. It’s all about now.
Achieving effective and continuing Mindfulness is not easy. You know that. We tend to live overactive lives, doing as much as we can in a day, doing multiple things at once (you know, multitasking - more about that in a moment). So our thoughts are working overtime, intruding on each other and making our minds a jumble. No wonder we can’t focus.
The biggest upside to to living in the moment is the surprisingly good level of enjoyment you will experience doing everything while being aware, conscious of what you are doing. You are probably aware of the benefits of Meditation - a higher state of self-awareness, a state of calm, an elimination of the mental static that prevents us from experiencing life to the fullest - Mindfulness can have this same positive effect. In fact, as we'll cover in the next blog, Mindfulness and Meditation are closely related - they complement each other in bringing greater calm, inner peace and reduction of tension and stress.
► The Multi-Tasking Myth
Before we get to how to achieve Mindfulness and getting in touch with the Moment, let’s get to the bottom line on multi-tasking. It’s not an effective way to get things done, and it’s a guarantee that being mindful, living in the moment, will not be possible. Practice multi-tasking and you can look forward to a continuing stream of Whoops Moments. And that’s not all. Multi-task and you will not reduce stress in your life; the more you multi-task, the greater the tension. There has be be a better way and you will discover it when you are living in the moment, as often as you can.
One more reason to get multi-tasking out of your routines: It doesn’t work. Functional MRI tests, brain scans and other psychological measures show that we cannot think about two things at once. When we try to do two or more things at the same time, our minds jump back-and-forth so that we are not giving full attention to any of the things we’re juggling. It turns out that it’s much more efficient to work on, and think about one job at a time. When we do that, we are creating an environment do it mindfully, giving the subject our full, undivided concentration.
► How To Achieve Mindfulness (You Can Start Now!)
I could give this section the sub-headline ”Bring Thinking Under Your Control” because that is the path to being or living in the moment and gaining appreciation and enjoyment of life. Here’s a simple approach you can begin practicing immediately. But be aware that we will be changing habits, and that never happens in an instant, so be patient and try to “get back to Mindfulness” whenever you can, whenever you realize you are thinking about things that were or things that will be. You need to be thinking only about now.
As with most mind-control and meditative techniques, it starts with breathing. Whether you are sitting or standing quietly, or are walking, or are working, become aware of your breath going in, and your breath going out. Inhale more deeply than normal, and exhales slowly and fully. Don’t hold your breath, but as you inhale, be aware that you are inhaling; same goes for when you exhale. It’s not necessary to count your breaths, but some find it helps their concentration. Once the deeper, aware breathing is underway, become conscious of sounds that you hearing; birds chirping, traffic sounds, a fan turning, voices. Be cognizant of the wind blowing, the creaking of a chair, your own feelings and sensations.
If . . . if you can be aware of your breathing while you are also conscious of sounds, you will be effectively blocking other thoughts. You are successfully living in the moment. You are achieving a state of clarity and relaxation.
I recommend starting to practice Mindfulness, starting now. It will be hard at first to “maintain the moment” for more than a few seconds before thoughts intrude. Don’t become frustrated but return to the focus. In time, it will become easier to achieve and hold Mindfulness.
In the next blog we’ll go deeper into living in the moment and see how Mindfulness and Meditation merge, giving you greater concentration, focus and relaxation.
Stay in the moment,
" The sprit of zen embraces inner selfcare as well as physical selfcare. These zen inspirations are to help you bring yourself together and achieve inner calm, spiritual peace.