This morning I decided to do a search for trending health topics to write about this week and came across this headline: Mindfulness vs. Mindlessness. Given my history working in addictions and mental health, I thought this would be a good topic to cover today.
So, I hit the Google and did some research. While I knew what mindfulness was – I had never heard the term mindlessness before.
What is mindfulness?
There are two definitions that pop up when you look up the word “mindfulness”.
-the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
.a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
How is this different from being mindlessness?
Our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. In short, being mindlessness, means being in the present.
But what exactly does that mean? What does being in the present mean? How does it compare to reflecting on the past or focusing on the future? Is it better to be in a state of mindfulness or mindlessness? These are all questions that came to me as I dived into more research.
How to stay in the present moment?
Staying in the present moment is a lot harder than it sounds. I know for myself, when I often give advice or write articles, I often pull from past experiences to share what I’ve learned. And like most people – I often focus on future outcomes. How can I improve myself today – so that I’m a better person tomorrow? This is the mindset I get into when writing.
Staying in present moment is challenging – but it isn’t impossible. Here are some tips to help you stay in the present.
Make a commitment to yourself
Make a commitment or promise to yourself to stay in the present. This will take time and practice.
Practice daily gratitude
Practice daily gratitude and be thankful for where you are now – not where you want to be. Don’t focus on the things you don’t have in front of you. Focus on what you do have.
I’m bad for this – I’m always one step ahead trying to plan for the future and I think of all the things I don’t have. This often leads to over spending and buying things I don’t really need. I’m going to make a commitment to myself to appreciate all the things I have now instead of longing for things that are out of my reach.
Use “I am” messages daily
Daily affirmations can help some people transition into positive thinking. Using “I am” messages can only help boost confidence – but they can also help with staying in the present.
- “I am brushing my teeth.”
- “I am working out.”
- “I am going for a walk.”
- “I am content with my life the way it is.”
- “I am worth it.”
Meditation will help to keep you grounded. You can practice meditation for a few moments every day on your lunch break or during your coffee break. For me, meditation can be as simple as having a bath and listening to soft music in the background. Or finding a quiet space to sit, and clear the mind of clutter and debris from the day. This can be hard to do if you haven’t meditated before.
Just five minutes each day will help you to stay focused and be more present.
Become aware of your body and your surroundings
Instead of keeping your head buried in your phones, I know – we’re all bad for this now – put your phone in your pocket every once in a while and just take in the scenery around you.
Being aware of your body and your natural surroundings can help to reconnect you with nature. I know for me, I feel most at peace when in the mountains. There’s something almost spiritual when you’re alone and wandering through the nature trails.
Go for a walk. Go for a long drive in the country. Have a picnic next to a lake. Just connect with nature and get lost in the moment. Enjoy the beauty that is mother nature.
Staying in the present isn’t an easy thing to do. But by practicing these tasks on a daily basis, you can learn to live in the moment.
This is something I’ve never been able to do – but I think I’m willing to give it a try.
Are you the kind of person who relives the past? Or do you live by the moment? Let me know in the comments!
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