The challenge between thought and action depends on how much you live in your head.
What do I mean by this? I think you know – it’s the act of your thoughts controlling your life. Good or bad. Most likely pervasive thoughts are negative. Thoughts can hold back any action you take, or not in your life.
Exercise: Do you find running 20 miles in your head while sitting on the couch?
Projects: Do you imagine writing a fantastic book while sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee?
Ideas are GREAT! It’s when we don’t act on them can be disappointing.
The thoughts are powerful. But putting them into action is the challenge. There are many reasons for this. The one I count on the most is not knowing how to live in the present. That’s right.
Why? Because most of the anxieties we experience are thoughts we have about the past or the future. Learning to turn this off can be magical. You can get more done by just putting all your thoughts on the current day. Every current day we live through becomes a memory tomorrow.
Learning Mindfulness, how to do it is simple.
But first ..
Do you remember John Lennon singing about how life is what happens while we are busy making other plans? Perhaps he was proposing we choose mindful living over our automatic tendencies.
In our hectic world, more of us are becoming aware of how little peace of mind we have. We run ourselves ragged to the point where we often don’t realize how we got from point A to point B, right? Depression and anxiety disorders are on the rise, and there seems to be no end to our rushing as a lifestyle setpoint.
We know something needs to change.
“Mindfulness” has become a trendy buzzword found all over the Internet. But it’s much more than a trend. It works to bring peace and surrender to our busy minds and lives, and it has done this for centuries. It’s a way of living, in each moment.
And it’s a way of calming the mind, focusing on the present day, and paying attention to WITHIN the day to be act.
So, what exactly is mindfulness? It’s being aware of where you are and what you are doing in each moment. It’s paying attention, on purpose, to what’s going on for us right now. If this sounds simple, you’re right, it is. However, it’s not always easy. Our mind is constantly going back into the past, often to fret or brood, or going into the future, frequently to worry.
In the time it took you to read that short paragraph you may have thought about many things. What to make for dinner, how you’d like to order pizza, how your partner complained last time about wanting a homecooked meal, the rising cost of your favorite pizza place, worrying about your bank balance, etc. etc.
This type of “stream of consciousness” thinking happens over and over, all day long and EVERY day.
And that’s okay. Being present or practicing mindfulness isn’t about judging ourselves harshly for thinking about the past or future. The aim is to gently bring our mind back whenever we notice it has wandered to somewhere other than what we are currently experiencing, without being exceedingly reactive.
Practicing being present allows us to respond rather than react. To slow down and appreciate the daily wonders all around us and to be with whatever emotions we are experiencing, instead of giving into overwhelm. Practicing mindfulness allows us to experience and enjoy our lives fully.
Although this may sound airy-fairy, there are time-tested techniques we can use to encourage our minds to remain present and mindful.
These techniques are not difficult, require no special equipment, and you can do many of them anywhere, anytime. But we’ll explain all of this in detail later.
For now, let’s consider why being present is a worthwhile pursuit. After all, you’re busy, and you don’t want to add one more thing to your life unless it’s going to help you live a much happier, healthier life!
Learning mindfulness IS easy yet challenging. The challenges are how you emotionally respond to the practice. But once you do your life will be calmer, and stress is reduced. And this is because stress is often self induced.