Have you ever found yourself lost in thought? Maybe you were reading a book, and suddenly realized you were thinking about something else and weren’t even aware of what you’d been reading? Or driving a car, and suddenly found yourself somewhere you often go, but that hadn’t actually been your plan today? Could these situations be such a big deal?
Actually, yes. These are distractions and are a major concern. Thinking about one thing while doing another has led to injuries on the job, harm to patients or clients, and reduced learning in classrooms. Just imagine, are you interested in being the patient of an unfocused dentist? The client of a preoccupied lawyer? Undergoing an operation by a surgeon whose mind is elsewhere?
In addition to the physical or emotional damage that can be done by being in one of these situations, have you considered the personal cost to you, yourself? Think about the times when you’ve been checking social media rather than enjoying the laughter of your children or grandchildren? Replaying a tennis shot instead of engaging in an event with your significant other? Rushed through a meal as opposed to asking your loved ones about their day?
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Look At What You’ve Been Missing!
Welcome to the world of mindfulness! Mindfulness, a practice that is simple, secular, and scientifically supported, allows you to slow down enough so you can be in touch with you. Imagine that! You’ll truly be able to live and experience each moment of your life. With a mindfulness practice, you use each of your senses to really notice anything and everything.
- The aromas that surround you, even the smell of a neighbor’s freshly baked pie or fresh fruit as you enter the grocery store
- The touch of a baby’s soft skin, the fur of your pet, or the grass under your feet
- The sight of a brilliant sunset, water shimmering in the lake, or the intricacies and multitude of colors in a painting
- The taste of an orange and how it feels when the juices explode in your mouth with each bite
- The sound of laughter, the whispers of children who should be asleep instead of talking, or the footsteps of the one you love
You will soon notice each of these blessings, and, at the same time, because you have chosen to slow down your days just a bit, you’ll also start noticing sensations in your body. You’ll notice when someone looks sad or lonely, and instinctively know how to approach that person and let him know you’ve noticed, they matter, and you care. Your empathy and compassion will start to shine through, for others and yourself, because that’s something mindfulness has proven to do.
Positive Effects of Mindfulness
You’ll start sleeping better and longer, no longer laying awake for half of the night, or taking a medication to ensure that you pass out for four or eight hours, but then finding yourself groggy the next day. That practice of mindful breathing, mindful listening, or a body scan will relax and calm you so that your brain is no longer yapping at you and you can fall asleep in peace. Just one more of the many benefits of mindfulness.
No longer will you be lost in thought, sacrificing the parts of life that are meant to be cherished. Rather, you will be living each moment, appreciating the people who are a part of your life, and recognizing the gift of each situation. And, because you’ve taken the time, you’ll be able to be grateful that you’ve decided to do so.
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