Live in the now.
With practice, mindfulness allows us to focus on what is in front of us, instead of replaying the past or worrying about the future. For example, you walk through the door after a very stressful day. Your mind is still on work, and your child cries for your attention. You can either get frustrated with your child or you can decide to be present in the moment, focusing on your child and not the demands of the work day. You and your child will both be happier when your attention is not divided.
Of course, learning to be present in the moment takes practice. Here are some simple tips to follow: whatever you’re doing at this very moment, focus completely on it and only it. Naturally, your thoughts will jump around, particularly at first. That’s okay. When you notice this is happening, just bring your attention back to the task at hand.
Come up with little “mindfulness bells” that will remind you to focus on the present. “Mindfulness bells” can be anything you want: stop signs, a favorite color, water running. Whenever you see (or maybe hear or feel) it, you’ll be reminded to focus on the present.
According to Kabalka, “Mindfulness practice helps you build your own self-awareness. With practice we ‘hear’ how busy our minds are, and how repetitive and negative our thoughts can be. We realize we don’t have to believe everything we think.” You might find that you are harder on yourself, even blaming yourself for thinking or feeling a certain way. While that’s normal, it’s not always helpful. In fact, too much anxiety, for example, might reveal itself as a tightness in the chest or heaviness in the shoulders. Life is stressful enough!
Allow your experiences and thoughts to be what they are. “Accepting our experience with kindness, honesty, and without the complications of judgments, evaluations, preferences, desires, and resistance allows us to choose a response that is kind, appropriate, and helpful to us and others,” says Livoncova.
So the challenge is this: tomorrow morning, wake up and practice your new, mindful routine. Look for your “mindfulness bell” throughout the day and practice being present in the moment. It won’t be long before you see your relationships begin to prosper, your productivity improve, and your feelings of anxiety or stress fade away.