Creating the habit of mindfulness means to learn to control your thoughts and tell your mind where you want to focus your attention. Most of the time it’s best to focus your attention on the present moment in front of you, but sometimes in my meditation I choose to be mindful of situations I want to reflect on and process.
Mindfulness has helped me in so many ways. Obviously I am not perfect at this, but the difference is now I am aware of it and have tools in my tool belt to help me.
Many times we miss the moment right in front of us because our mind is somewhere else entirely. I heard the quote once,
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
This resonated so deeply with me. Most of my stress came from clutter in my mind focused on things in the past I couldn’t control, or things in future I couldn’t control. The more I learn to override those tendencies and focus on the present, the healthier I am.
Now, I am NOT a counselor, therapist or psychologist, so if you are reading this and actually struggling with severe depression or anxiety, as much as mindfulness can help anyone, I’m not trying to be an expert here. Please talk to a professional.
I’m sitting here writing this post on Christmas Eve morning before anyone else in the family wakes up. As many of us begin gathering with our families, let us be mindful of the moments in front of us. Let us leave work, relationship, financial or whatever stressors we are carrying, at the door. Let’s set the phones down and give all of our attention to the moments right in front of us.
This holiday season, take control of where you are giving your mental attention.