As humans we spend so much time living our life in our heads. Thoughts about the past, maybe regrets or ‘should have’ ‘could have’ scenarios or worries about the future, wanting things to be a certain way or not wanting certain things to happen. If we were able to just be in the present moment more often and pay attention to what we are doing and how we are actually feeling, life can be much simpler.
In Ruby Wax’s book Sane New World, she writes about a Depressing Thought.
“Suppose your life expectancy is 90 and you’re 38 now, that means you have approximately 52 years left. Now let’s say you’re only aware of a minute every three to five days, this might mean you only have about 12 years left in conscious time. I may not have this exactly right, but you see my point. What I am trying to say is that if you were attentive to your life rather than simply getting through it, even if a doctor told you you only had six months to live, if you were awake to every minute, it would be longer than if you had 100 years to live in an unconscious state”.
We all have the capability to change our thinking habits and make our lives a little simpler.
Set a reminder on your phone once or twice a day to take a pause. This can be a pause to tune into your breath for one-minute counting ten breaths or to tune into the sounds around you.
Have a mindful cup of coffee. Spend a couple of minutes smelling and tasting the coffee, tuning into the direct experience rather than drinking coffee and thinking about something else.
When walking, focus on the feeling of the feet on the ground, the physical sensations of walking.
If you spend a lot of your day at a computer, set a reminder each hour to pause and look out of the window to look at the trees, traffic, buildings. Really look at something and take a moment to be grateful for your sense of sight.
Try to go outside for some fresh air at some point in you ay, take in the sights and sounds of the present moment, even for just a few moments.
Pay attention when you are eating. Tune in to the experience of smelling, tasting and the process of chewing and swallowing even if just for he first few mouthfuls.