I was in the grocery store the other day waiting in a long check out line. A gentleman standing behind started talking to me…trying to have a conversation. I answered him politely but that was it. I didn’t carry on the talk. I was in my own happy little world thinking about my to-do-list, feeling great how productive my day was going thus far and what else I need to do rest of my day. I did not care what he said. He was being nice. In fact paid a compliment. That’s how he started the conversation. And he was like you know visually very pleasing. Later on when I was driving back home, I realized what did I just do there. I could have talked to him but it was too late, I missed the opportunity.
Get out of your head and be in the moment. And clearly I was not. If I was, I would have not missed the chance. Alright lesson learnt for the next time.
All of you know that it’s important to live in the present, but there is a small problem . . . how?
We are so distracted by our thoughts and less aware of what’s going on around us. But we can change that. . . with practice . . . any change happens with practice.
Now, there are people who will not be in happy thoughts, but they will be worried and stressed out about the future or thinking about what went wrong in the past that they forget to experience and enjoy their present, the moment they are in. They worry about all the possible wrong things that can happen in the future..
Let’s talk about how you can enjoy your present moment by practicing few things which can be achieved with mindfulness and self awareness.
Give notice to little things- For example, while you are driving, enjoy the drive. Pay attention to your surroundings. I have started doing it myself. When I am driving, it gives me a lot of joy when I look at the palm trees or whatever I am driving by. When I sip my first coffee in the morning, I thank for it and relish the entire experience of having it, the smell, the taste, the feel.
We eat while we drive, we eat at our desk trying to save time. I know we are living our lives in a nonstop motion, finding it difficult to slow down . We all are guilty of that.
You can become mindful at any moment and relish it. Being in the moment means you are focusing on the thing that you are doing, whatever that maybe. For instance, if you are having your meal try and avoid rushing through it, be mindful and enjoy the smell of your food, chew your food and not wash it down with water or any liquid. Relish your food with all your senses. It will help proper digestion and prevent weight gain and you don’t feel hungry all the time. See you have all the benefits going in your favor by making little changes.
Acknowledge the scary thoughts – It’s ok to have them once in a while. Its natural. We are humans and we get overwhelmed and stress about our future. But spending most of your time on it is a waste of your time and energy. You may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist and imagine all the bad things that can happen which leads to negative thoughts and anxiety. It can literally affect your body physically and not just mentally. Breathe. It will help you a lot to come out of your anxious moment and bring you in the present. Make it a habit.
Take negative people out of your life We all know someone who picks up negative things out of every situation. And you are like ugh! not again. And when you point it out, they say they are being realist. It gets exhausting after a while. So take some courage and try not to mingle with them as much as possible.
Make a no technology time & Practice Silence – Some people are constantly texting or talking on their phone when they are driving, working out, cooking, watching TV or whatever they are doing. They would talk million times a day with their mom, sister, brother or friend and then complain they don’t have any time to breathe and that their lives are super busy, and they wished they had time to relax. Yes, you have time to relax. Excuse me! Have you ever thought of reducing your phone time? If you are mindful and take a few moments during your day and not spend your energy on unnecessary talks, you will be surprised how much more time you will have. Be quiet for some time . . . for YOU.
“Silence is not empty, it is full of answers”.
Get involved in activities – Find out the things that interest you. Many people don’t even know what they like to do in their down time when you ask them. Give yourself some time to discover yourself. Try different things and see what makes you feel calmer and happier. And when you do, make a part of everyday life.
My question for you is – What are you doing for yourself? Are you taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
Practice mindfulness in your relationships – It can become a struggle if you find your partner not fully present when you are together. They may be physically present with you, but their mind, their thoughts, their eyes are all over the place. Communication and listening are not its best then and makes it difficult to build or maintain connection of depth.
And, If you get distracted remind yourself, bring your mind back, say – now! now! now! let me stay present in the now. These little changes, makes a huge difference. Staying in the present moment is a solution to many of our life’s problems; … improves creativity, improves our interpersonal relationships, reduces stress etc.
Don’t hesitate to ask me if you need help. Asking for help for some I know is not easy. They fear they will be seen as less competent, and some do not want to give away their control. If you know a friend or family member who you think is objective, talk. Or, hire a coach. Having a coach is helpful in the sense that they can give you a perspective and call out on areas of your life that you may have missed out on or neglected. And you are free of fear of being judged.