Have you ever happened to find yourself so busy that when you eventually stop and rest, you don't know what to do? Or that in the middle of a much-desired vacation, you find yourself thinking about all the things you have to do on your return?
Do not worry, most of us have lived or are living very similar situations.
The question is: why?
If you pay attention to your mind for a few moments, you will get the answer which simply is… the mind itself.
Our mind - in fact - does not stop for a second; it constantly travels between the past and future with the result that we completely miss the only thing we have at our disposal: the PRESENT moment.
Try this simple exercise: close your eyes for a moment and simply observe the content of your mind. Do not judge or criticize yourself, just observe what are you thinking.
What have you found out?
Chances are that your mind - as mine did - either spent the whole time recapitulating everything it has to do in the near future, or it was lost in some memory - maybe remembering a conversation that could have gone differently or maybe fantasizing about something you’d like to gain.
Regardless of the specific thought, the point is that being present was not an option.
Being present is not easy task.
It is very simple but not easy.
In this article I’ll share some simple daily activities that will allow you, little by little, to train your mind to stay present and enjoy the little moments in your your life.
Remember that the more you practice, the greater the results.
1. When you get up in the morning do not immediately turn on your cell phone. Wait at least half an hour before checking your emails, messages or social media. Instead, take 5 minutes to observe how you feel, your emotions and your breath, what your body needs. There is really nothing to do, just observing how you feel without any judgment.
2. When you talk to someone, whether in person or on the phone, listen. Do not think about your response or what you have to say, instead allow yourself to open up to the other person, to really understand what they are saying.
3. Stop for a minute 3 or 4 times per day to watch your thoughts as you did a moment ago in the previous exercise. The goal here is neither to change your thoughts nor to stop thinking but rather to become aware of what you are thinking.
Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder, if that helps.
4. If you feel stressed, nervous, anxious or worried, take 5 minutes to observe the flow of your breath. Then feel your emotions without trying to push them away or reacting towards them. Just feel them, recognize them while treating yourself with compassion and patience.
Remember everything is impermanent.
For more tools and exercises to train your mind and stay in the present moment, get in touch at email@example.com.
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A big hug!