BE HAPPIER BY BLOCKING OUT THIS DIGITAL AGE OF DISTRACTION, SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON ENJOYING THE PRESENT
We live in an age that revolves around distraction. The growth in popularity of smart phones, social media and always being ‘on’ or ‘in touch’ with the rest of the world has made it difficult for us to take a step back and just enjoy the present moment. We are always on the go or doing something, and rarely stop to still our mind and focus on that is happening and how we feel right now.
Many of us are unaware of our thoughts – instead, they just pop into our heads, and influence our decisions. We hop from thought to thought. A good example is that of being at work. When we are based at work, we wish we had time off with our loved ones. When we have that time off, many of us fail to enjoy it properly because we can’t ‘switch off’ and worry about our workload when we return. Some of us even work during our holidays. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start living more ‘in the moment’. Living in the present moment has roots in Buddhism and meditation. In order to calm
our minds, find inner peace and balance, we need to be able to control our thoughts and create stillness in our minds, so that we can focus on just ‘being’. Not only is this practice a good stress-buster, but it also gives a sense of perspective. We can think about things from a different angle, and realise what’s important in life. By being mindful, you let your thoughts flow through your mind, without them influencing or controlling you and your decisionmaking process. People who practice mindfulness tend to be happier, calmer, more empathetic and more confident in themselves. They listen to negativity and don’t absorb it – they let it wash over them without becoming defensive. This in turn reduces stress and anxiety levels overall. So how do you become more mindful and live in the moment? The main step is to exercise present-moment awareness. Don’t think about what you’re going to do in future, or what you have done in the past. Clear your mind of thoughts and your inner mental ‘chatter’. Don’t think too hard about what you’re doing in the present moment – just ‘be’ in the moment.
Don’t think about your body hang-ups, things you may have said or done in the past that you can’t take back, or stress about the future. Focus on the experience you have right now, and unlink it to your self-esteem. This truly is living in the moment