A Guide to Being Mindful
I am a firm believer in having goals, planning and thinking about the future. That’s why it can be hard for me to stop focusing on what’s next and just live in the moment. I get caught up in all my future plans and ideas. I feel like I’m constantly on a time crunch. It actually takes away from my experiences and interactions with other people because I feel like I need to rush to the next thing to get everything done. I’m cheating myself of just taking a moment to enjoy the experience of living.
If you are someone who is always rushing off to the next thing or wishing for time to move faster, you too, are cheating yourself out of life. You have to remember that it is important to A. enjoy what you have at the very moment. B. Never wish days away because you will never get those days back and C. make the most of everything you have and be grateful for it.
Living in the moment is challenging, but it shouldn’t be and doesn’t have to be. If you think about it, the present moment is the only time you are guaranteed. You are not promised tomorrow or even an hour from now so why would you not make the most of what you do have. If you catch yourself wishing-away time waiting for the next best thing. Grasp hold of the present with these strategies.
Live With Intention
It is easy to get caught up in our day-to-day habits. We don’t even realize that we are operating on autopilot half the time. Most of us probably have the same routine every single day. It is so ingrained in us that we don’t even have to think about what to do next. You have to make the choice that you want to be mindful of your actions and seize the day.
Today, I was answering a text from my boyfriend that said, “How was your day?” At first, I started typing, “good, how was yours?” but I stopped myself. I thought about what I was doing. Was I answering a simple everyday question on autopilot? Or was I answering it with intention and purpose? It is these small moments throughout the day that are a physical measure of whether or not we are living in the moment or just operating.
As humans, we are always seeking to fulfill our needs. That need could be love, a relationship, a better body, a promotion at work or just whatever we need at the moment to satisfy a feeling of fulfillment. There are always things in play that motivate our actions and determine our next move. It’s okay to want things, but enjoy the journey of wanting. If you will only be happy once you reach your goal then you will never be happy, not because you’ll never reach your goal but because your end goal won’t bring you the satisfaction that you imagine it will. What will bring you satisfaction is savoring the small everyday accomplishments that led you to achieve your goal.
Be Aware of Your Time
Being present and in-the-moment means appreciating the time you have and not taking it for granted. Be aware of how you are spending your time. Snuggling up on the couch watching an episode of Law and Order SVU with my boyfriend is time well spent for me. I enjoy the time I get to relax, be with him, and just watch tv. It’s important to do things that are relaxing and intimate, but if I were to spend 3 hours every night watching tv with my boyfriend it wouldn’t be the same. It would be boring and wasteful of our time together. If we watched tv for 3 hours every night we would spend a total of 21 hours a week watching tv. I know there are so many better ways we could use that time. Spend your time wisely you don’t have an endless amount.
If you work a 9-5, like myself and most people, from the moment Monday begins you are probably already itching for the weekend. I would bet that there are many people that don’t like their job because they aren’t happy or satisfied with what they do. We spend such an astronomical amount of time at work. Which is why it’s unbelievable to me that people work in jobs that they hate and stay in them for years because it’s safe and comfortable. You will never appreciate every day or even appreciate your life if you are constantly doing things that you hate. Enjoying life means enjoying every part of your life, every day of your life. Find the joy in everything you do or don’t do it.