Mindfulness. It’s all about living in the moment.
For most people, sitting still is challenging. In our fast-paced, modern, productivity-oriented culture, it is rare to take time to appreciate simply existing and breathing. Meditation, and meditative activities, have the power to help individuals understand, use, and direct their awareness. This awareness can help one achieve calm and compassionate acceptance of their feelings and bodily sensations in the present moment. With practice, focusing one’s awareness on the present moment can lead to forming habits of concentration and patience. There are better opportunities for being highly conscious of the present moment than others, but as a meditative tool and therapeutic relaxation technique, it’s important to make some time to explore an experience mindfully.
In an amusing, yet contradictory way, living in the present moment effects our perception of time. It seems like time is slower when we fully appreciate the present moment. We can experience a fleeting understanding of the infinite nature of time and space, particularly in a meditative state. However, when we are so immersed in the present moment or engaged in a mindful activity, time seems to fly by. Sometimes just one second can feel like an eternity. Being so preoccupied with the immediate moment or task, one doesn’t pay attention to the time as it’s passing. Mindfulness, or a mindful sate, can be practiced in any activity or ritual that promotes a strong mind-body connection and helps an individual concentrate, focus, or create.
Activities such as yoga, tango, creating art, meditating, being engrossed in a story, or being outdoors are what have helped me practice mindfulness. I think other activities that can promote the growth of awareness and state of calm are praying, physical exercise, working with one’s hands, and engaging in active communication. Like any skill or habit, living in the present moment and being mindful must be practiced over time.
Achieving a relaxed state of focus and concentration with the mind and body feeling cohesive is the foundational result of practicing mindfulness and appreciating the present moment. Forming habits that give you the power to focus, concentrate, be patient and conscious are beneficial in all areas of life. It helps individuals become the master of their own mind which can lead to feelings of empowerment. Engaging in efforts to strengthen your own mind-body connection and find a sense of internal cohesion leads to more self confidence and satisfaction with choices or actions.
I recommend trying this for yourself. Sit still for 5 minutes and settle into your body. Maybe close your eyes. Observe your deep breaths, the sounds around you, any little itches or twitches you may experience. Just take some time to explore the feelings and sensations of your body and mind. Deep breathing is a great tool for concentration. Go ahead, try it! The rest of this text will still be here when you’re done. Maybe think about some activities that help you achieve similar feelings of relaxation, focus, and awareness in the present moment. There’s a saying, “the clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” Receive the gift with appreciation and respect. Get a feeling for how one second can feel like forever and soak up every drop of the present moment when you have the opportunity.