By Wendy Evans, LCSW
Often when we are at work, we dream about the weekend, and on the weekends, we dream about vacation and on vacation, we worry about work. These constant thoughts about the future rob us of the moment and can contribute to anxiety and depression. Remaining in the moment enables us to live for today.
If you do not learn to be mindful, you will never truly enjoy your life
Mindfulness is being in the present moment. But what does this mean? It means you are present in your body and aware of what you are doing. You feel your feet on the floor, your hands in your lap, you notice when you get up and when you sit down. You are present when speaking to another person and not thinking about your response but are fully engaged in what they are saying.
Why is mindfulness helpful? When you are present in the moment, you are fully engaged in life. You begin to train your brain to observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them to be good or bad. Mindfulness means living in the moment and actually experiencing life as it happens.
Mindfulness can be a gift you give to others
When you are truly mindful with others, they feel it. They know you are listening and engaged in what they are saying. This makes relationships more meaningful and more enjoyable.
Staying mindful takes practice. You can set reminders on your phone and each time a reminder goes off, come back to the moment, feel your feet on the ground, look around you and take in your surroundings, make sure you are being present with others. If you find you are getting anxious about something and your mind is going and won’t stop, ground yourself by taking a few deep breaths and get back into the moment.
Have fun and play with mindfulness. You will be surprised at how you can reduce your stress, anxiety and even depression by simply ‘getting in the moment’. You can read more about the benefits of mindfulness in this article.