If you are like most people, you probably race through life without paying too much attention to what is happening around you or even what you yourself are doing. After all, you're busy.
You have work meetings or school, family or friends or pets to attend to, and a full personal life. The caution to slow down and live in the present might go against all of your instincts. You may be surprised to find that doing so not only can increase your productivity but also improves and deepens your enjoyment of life.
Understanding Mindful Living
You start a project, but then you get sidetracked, or you find yourself ruminating over something you are worried about. You feel scattered and anxious. Does this sound familiar? We all have a tendency to do things with a part of our mind on something else, and ever-present internet access has worsened this tendency.
It's easy to try to put aside anxiety by scrolling social media, but that only increases that fidgety, dissatisfied, unfocused feeling. Living mindfully means being aware of your senses and what is around you and letting thoughts pass without becoming too attached to them. When you live more mindfully, you will no longer be easily distracted, and your experiences with be fuller and richer as a result.
Think of Others
Living mindfully also means thinking of others. Listen to what others are saying to you. Remember special occasions, such as birthdays. For friends and family members, think of a gift that shows them how much they mean to you, selecting something with care.
For example, instead of simply going online and clicking a couple of buttons to send flowers, create your own arrangement or bouquet for that special someone's birthday. You can use a guide that suggests the best flowers to send for a birthday and discusses the flower to help you select exactly the right blooms for your loved one. A flower subscriptions service can ensure that they get flowers all through the years, brightening even the darkest winter days.
Manage Your Thoughts
Thinking of others is one thing, but what about how you think of yourself? Mindfulness is all about gaining perspective. One thing to consider is how you perceive the things that happen to you as you go through life. Are you frustrated by a red light when you are in a hurry? What if you saw that red light as an opportunity to take a few deep breaths and center yourself? You might also think about the fact that on other days, the red light hasn't made you feel so angry and stressed. Why was that?
When you identify the factors that drive your reactions to things and realize it isn't the fault of the red light, you'll better understand that it is your own reaction that is making this moment difficult. Try letting go of your impatience and appreciating something in the moment, such as a flock of birds flying overhead, a song that is playing or wildflowers growing alongside the road. By the time the red light turns back to green—only a few moments in the grand scheme of things—you may have completely shifted your thoughts.