Managing Anxiety with Mindfulness For Dummies
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With mindfulness you’re always in the present moment. You’ve never been in any other moment. Don’t believe me? Every time your mind worries about the past, when does it do it? Only in the present moment. Every plan you’ve ever made is only made in the present too.

Right now, as you’re thinking about what you’re reading, and comparing it to your past experience, you’re doing so in this moment, now. Your plans for tomorrow can only be thought about now. Now is all you’re ever in. So what’s all the fuss about? The question is how you can connect with the here and now.

Here are some tips for living in the present moment:

  • Focus on whatever you’re doing. When you type, feel the contact between your fingers and the keyboard. When you drive, try giving it your full attention rather than allowing your mind to wander.

    When drinking tea, do some mindful drinking. Feel the sensations as the cup comes towards your mouth, and enjoy the refreshing taste of tea. Living in the present is trickier than it sounds but each time you try, you get a little bit better. Slowly but surely, you start really living in the moment.

  • Reduce activities that draw you out of the moment. You may need to reduce the time you spend surfing the Internet or chatting for hours online. Or it may be as simple as stopping lying in bed in the morning for too long, allowing you time to worry unnecessarily about the day.

    Nothing’s wrong with any of these activities, but they don’t encourage moment-by-moment living. They capture your attention and lead to a passive state of mind. Switching from channel to channel while slumped on the sofa drains your energy much faster than an activity done with a gentle awareness.

  • Establish a daily mindfulness practice. Doing so strengthens your ability to stay in the present rather than being drawn into the past or pulled into the future. The strength of your daily habit extends into your everyday life, without you even trying. You hear the sound of that bird in the tree, or find yourself listening intently to your colleague in an effortless way. Now mindfulness becomes fun.

  • Look deeply. Consider and reflect on all the people and things that came together in each moment. The awareness of all that’s come together and been provided for you to enjoy naturally creates gratitude and present moment awareness. This is called looking deeply. You’re connecting in the moment, and also seeing the bigger picture of how things have come together in an interconnected way.

    Looking deeply isn’t thinking about your experience, but seeing your experience in a different way. You can try it in any situation – it transforms your perspective, and perspective transforms experience.

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