We spend so much of our time being BUSY. We have work responsibilities, family obligations, social commitments, and leisure activities that compete for our time and attention. Lately I have been focused on the future and all the things I need to do to complete my to-do list. I spend so much time making to do lists, setting goals, and planning my days that I have been forgetful to deal with my present moment.
I am not the only one with lots to do. I am not the only one with goals, dreams, and aspirations. And although I believe we can do anything I worry we spend too much time looking forward. Recently I am working on being content and being in the present moment.
Rather than worry about all I need to do later I want to be Ok with what I am doing right now. I want to strive to improve and strive to be a better version of myself. I want to learn to be OK with who am I right now. I am trying to remember “I am enough”.
Lately the above Scripture has been floating around in my head. Perhaps it is my soul telling me to slow down and be in the moment. I have all that I need right now. I am fully equipped with the strength and emotional ability to manage whatever task I am working on right now. This verse reminds me to slow my role and be OK because who I am today is exactly who I am to be. This verse helps me slow down and reflect that I am truly blessed with so much love, respect, support, hope, and resources. All of those things will help me accomplish goals today and in the future. I can relax and be current with myself and others.
Psychologists refer to this as mindfulness. Psychology Today defines mindfulness as a state of active, open attention on the present. Mindfulness requires being ok with thoughts, feelings, and surroundings right now in the present moment. Mindfulness does not mean you enjoy being in a state of upset or distress but, rather acknowledging that and then accepting the upset so that steps can be taken right now to make the moment better.
Focusing on the future or focusing on issues beyond our control keeps us from solving problems now. In order to be better problem solvers and more relaxed and focused we need to “slow our role”, accept the situation, and proceed. Here is why practicing mindfulness is in your (and my) best interest.
- Researchers found that individuals that practiced mindfulness had less worrisome thoughts and decreased depression.
- Mindfulness reduces stress.
- Studies found that mindfulness improved focus, attention, ability to ignore distractions, and improved ability to recall information.
- People that were more mindful became less emotionally upset and were better at self-reflection and self-awareness.
- Research studies support that mindfulness can improve the quality of relationships (Davis & Hayes, 2012).
- Mindfulness has demonstrated a strong ability to improve health as evidenced by improved immune systems.
- Mindfulness improves happiness.
- Mindfulness helped people remain practical and rational during a stressful situation (2011).
- Observe your current moment and sense the current environment. This requires just looking at the current environment.
- Look at where you are, smell where you are, experience the sounds and feelings of where you are, and identify any feelings you are having. Try describing the current environment and situation as if you wanted someone to read it and be able to see and understand your situation as well.
- Remember the “to-do” list will never be blank. We will always have something to do, unless we are dead. Rather than rush to clear a list that will never clear, slow down and take it one thing at a time.
- Ask yourself “what do I need to do right now”?