Living The Life
Fairly recently, mindfulness was coined as the new thing that we should all become aware of and be doing more of. But what does this really mean and why now? In a world that is becoming more connected every minute, people are finding that they are becoming more disconnected with one another, and more importantly, the outside world. Becoming mindful is the art and technique of becoming aware of the here and now and what it has to offer. No doubt you’ve heard the saying “tomorrow is a mystery, yesterday is history and today is a gift, which is why they call it the present!”
But just think about that for a moment, how much of your day is truly spent in the here and now. I’m not about thinking about later on in the day I’m on about being truly here now?
Not only do we have the tendency to discuss with others what we did yesterday, or what we had for lunch and what we did the weekend, but we also go the other way to we also talk about all the things that we will be doing, will be experiencing. We may be going a holiday in six months and we find that we need to talk to others about a holiday that we will be going on. So much of our time is spent in the past which is gone and in the future which isn’t guaranteed for anyone, what we really all need to do is spend more time being in the now.
Computers, Internet, smart-phones, applications and social media are all further distractions to keep us away from what is going on in our present lives. But these things are here to stay, so the only way to make change is to take action yourself. These Weapons of Mass Distraction are everywhere, and it’s your job to spend your time in the here and now.
Another interesting fact about becoming more mindful and being in the here and now is that most mental disorders do not live in the here and now. Typically, depression, anxiety, stress, phobias, fear, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder are all accessed and lived in the, before and the after, very rarely the Now. People feel anxious about things that may happen in days, weeks and months to come. People can feel depressed and stressed about things do happen to them years before. Things that they absolutely cannot change or control now. Now is all we all have is time, we need to learn to be here.
One problem people come up against is that so many of these weapons of Mass distraction are part of everyone’s day-to-day life. Social media is a choice, however there is also a level of expectation. There are things we can learn there are things we can do with social media, but when it takes over our lives something needs to happen. I’m not going to suggest here that you banish all social media as a starting point, what I am suggesting is that you schedule your time on social media. Book some time in 3,4,5,6 times a day whatever it may be. Don’t go cold turkey, as there’s no need to be if you make a conscious effort and decision to use social media at certain times for certain amounts of time then you will find that you’re able to control this distraction that pulls your way from the now.
So once you schedule your time for things that at the moment absorb your time from being here now. This leaves all other hours to really live, while you live.
So how do you become more mindful, and the avoid procrastination? There are few principles and techniques that I teach to allow people to do just this.
Here they are:
Schedule social media, TV, films and even chatting with others.
Don’t start your day until you’ve finished it! This is a favourite of mine but it basically means plan your day the evening before. So many of us don’t have a plan for the following day and we just run on default and autopilot and we end up doing all of those things that we don’t necessarily want to do but just because we haven’t planned what we will do.
Practice, practice, practice. Another famous saying I love to use is practice makes………… permanent! I say permanent and not perfect because no doubt up until this point you been practising every single day looking at social media and wasting your time on other menial tasks that you wish you hadn’t done. You had practised but you certainly hadn’t become perfect. What has happened is you got yourself stuck in a level of permanence. Thankfully additional practice allows you to make something new that is also productive, permanent and possibly perfect.
So you’re properly wondering how you do practice becoming more mindful? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Questions! What am I looking forward to today, what do I want to learn today, what will I get done today, who will I make laugh today, who can I connect with today, what new ways will I discover today to become more mindful?
Taking a planned time out. Meditation, hypnosis and body scan mindfulness techniques are fantastic to do this. And as I said before practice makes permanent. The more often you spend time meditating, in hypnosis or carrying out body scans and various other internal processes the faster you will be able to make mindfulness more permanent you.