In times when you have an important, life-changing decision to make, it can be hard to corral your thoughts and not let them run off in a million stress-laden directions. Many of your thoughts are anything but productive, and you find that you’re unable to regulate your mind’s rapacious activity. Your preoccupied mind goes into “future chaser” or “past dweller” mode. It takes you everywhere except for where it matters most — the present moment. 

When important decisions present themselves, get out of your own way and out from under the drama you create. Don’t let your “small self” run the show. Aspire to heighten your awareness and to not let distractions pull you away from exploring what you’re feeling beneath all the confusion.  

Learn to slow down and quiet the mind through Mindfulness. This helps you refrain from trying to manipulate the world, or your thoughts of the world, to feed your ego. It brings calmness to your awareness and gives you insight into what rings true for you — to what is compatible with your authentic self. 

Start your Mindfulness practice by connecting to your breath. Begin by sitting in a quiet place, eyes closed, and noting any sounds, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Tell yourself that it’s okay to let everything and everyone go. Put your focus on your breath as you take several deep breaths in and out. Be aware that you’re in the moment of “now.” As you become more present, you become more aware; and as you become more aware, you become more present. 

Mindfulness is here for you when you’re indecisive or confused. It makes you more aware of what you’re truly feeling. It’s as though Mindfulness stops time and sits patiently with you, helping you become more present, awake, and aware. It makes it possible to connect to your core values to find your best way forward. 

You see, Mindfulness is being in a state of total awareness of the contents of your mind, which makes you more conscious of what you’re thinking and feeling. And, by being in this state of heightened awareness, you can remain observant of your thoughts and feelings with acceptance and non-judgment. In this state, you can guide yourself wisely, pointing yourself in the right direction. You will be conscious of the choices you’re making with total awareness. 

Mindfulness, when practiced consistently, reins in your random thoughts. It gives you laser sharp awareness so that you see things beyond the surface. Mindfulness reminds you that you’re here in this moment of “now.” It’s a state in which you’re observing your life unfold and are better able to experience it with clarity and acceptance. 

Think of Mindfulness as an innate superpower. It’s like having metacognition — you have a heightened awareness of what you’re thinking in the moment, as well as a heightened awareness of your understanding of what you’re thinking and why. In essence, you’re using higher-order thinking skills when you actively practice Mindfulness. It can be your North Star, always pointing you in the right direction.  

Opening up through Mindfulness to whatever decisions present themselves will help you find what rings true and enable you to make your decision with equanimity, fully aware of how you feel in your entire being. 

**Originally published at The Good Men Project