The gift of the present moment is something that we all can experience, but it can be difficult. There are so many distractions like television, social media, email, physical clutter and the constant chatter in our mind. We spend 1.7 hours a day on social media and we check our phones about 46 times a day. Additionally, we have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts racing through our mind per day. The challenge to accept the gift of the present moment is real.
When I am not in the present moment, I do things like this:
- Flip through a magazine or watch television while someone is talking to me
- Post several times throughout the day on social media
- Spend countless hours brooding over the past or worrying about the future
- Eat while watching television
- Check my email while on a phone call
I really do value those moments when I am fully present. If my son or daughter is talking to me but I am writing, then I am missing a powerful moment to connect with them. If I am consumed with the question of what’s next, I am not experiencing what’s happening now. When I am in the present moment, I am calm, relaxed, more creative and better connected to others.
Mindfulness is a beautiful gift that we can give ourselves. It is simply the practice of being in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is such a powerful gift that it’s used in therapy to treat psychological disorders like anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders and depression. Mindfulness-based interventions include mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Additionally, schools are recognizing the importance of mindfulness in education to reduce toxic stress among students, staff and parents, while increasing the student’s ability to improve attention, self-control and emotional resilience.
I would encourage anyone to make mindfulness a regular practice. Here are some suggestions:
- Begin your day being still, meditating, praying or doing yoga.
- Use a trigger like standing in a long line at the supermarket or being stuck in traffic as a reminder to take a few anchoring deep breaths.
- Let go of the need to multi-task.
- When someone is talking to you, really listen.
- Develop a meditation practice.
- Turn off your phone for a few hours each day.
- Instead of deciding that life will be good tomorrow, embrace the many ways that life is good right now by keeping a gratitude journal.
- Sit outside and appreciate nature’s beauty.
- Speak mindfully- avoid participating in gossip or saying things that are hurtful.
- Get creative- listen to music, write a story, paint.
Make a commitment to invest in yourself by giving yourself the gift of the present moment. The practice of mindfulness is good for our mind, body and spirit. Thank you for reading these words that I have shared. Please comment below and share your thoughts.