Live in the Now

Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment. People that live in the present moment handle stress and trauma better than those who dwell on the past or are preoccupied with the future. If you feel anxiety or worry or shame, chances are you are either ruminating on the past or worried about some future potentiality. Either way it’s not helpful. You can’t change the past, and most of what you worry about in the future will never happen.

Of course you already know that on an intellectual level, but it’s not that easy to change. We are emotional beings and driven by our subconscious minds. Is it possible to change, and to release the anxiety and other feelings that cause stress? Yes. There are things you can do to practice mindfulness.

Focus your awareness on the here and now, pay attention to whatever you are doing. If your mind wanders, try to bring it back. Be aware of your emotions and feelings, but learn to accept them. Be aware of your feelings from a third-person perspective, as if from outside of yourself. This helps to be non-judgmental and non-reactive so you may respond better to whatever situation you may be in.

Mindfulness meditation is focusing on your breathing, or one of your senses, or your body and how it feels, or even an awareness of your current thoughts. Choose one of those to pay attention to, for example; focus on your breathing. Meditate on inhaling and exhaling, excluding all other thoughts. It takes practice, but with practice you will gain an increased ability to pay attention to only breathing.

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and also increase creativity and energy. Monks who practice mindfulness regularly have high levels of equanimity and well-being.

Don’t dwell on the past which you can’t change, or feel anxiety for the future that you can’t control. Live in the now.