image courtesy of shutterstock.comWhat’s your take on this thing a lot of people are talking about called Mindfulness? Whatever you think about it, consider this … January – gone! February – done! And all of a sudden, we’re into March. Have you found yourself already saying something like “I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by?”
What’s going on here? There’s still 24 hours in every day. How come days seem to be shorter, and our list of things to get done seems to be getting longer?
A lot of it has to do with the noise of disruption, change, and competing professional and personal priorities filling our consciousness to the brim. And when our conscious mind is full to the brim, we become a little mindless. We’re not present as much as we might like (or need) to be. What it means is we exist through each day, running on auto-pilot, rather than live more often in the moment.
Why worry about not living more often in the moment and being more present throughout your day?
A great question … and the answer is, when we’re not present, not really living in the moment, we can unintentionally do real damage to one of the most important elements that impacts our professional and personal success – we can unintentionally damage our relationships by not being present, just getting used to them, taking them for granted and unintentionally devaluing the very thing we ought to value most in our lives.
Relationships matter and mindlessness puts our relationships at risk.
When studying positive psychology, mindfulness was a core topic that continually found its way into almost all other positive psychology topics.
One of my favourite books on the topic of mindfulness is ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’ by Thich Nhat Hanh (not an easy read, but a good one). For an alternative and less traditional approach to mindfulness, you might also take a look at Ellen Langer’s book ‘Mindfulness’ which has a very practical look at the implications of mindlessness.
My focus on mindfulness isn’t so much on the meditation form (although I do practice my own version of this), but rather to ask and become more conscious and aware about what our minds are full of, and while we may not be able to be fully present and mindful at all times, what we want to be able to avoid is unintentionally living much of our lives mindlessly.
There are many benefits to our physical and psychological well-being and life satisfaction when we can practice being more intentionally mindful in more moments that matter more often. But few of us have the time or the inclination to find time to meditate. So what’s the answer?
The team at Action for Happiness have put together a month of daily practical mindfulness actions that are easy to apply and help you to pattern interrupt the noise of this always switched on and fast paced world we live in.
I recommend you give these a go in March, and then rinse and repeat on a monthly basis.
I’m certainly giving it crack. How about you?