9 Quick and Easy Mindfulness Practices to Beat Worry and Anxiety

9 Quick and Easy Mindfulness Practices to Beat Worry and Anxiety

Paying Attention In the Present Moment

9 Quick and Easy Mindfulness Practices to Beat Worry and AnxietyPaying Attention In the Present Moment – Let’s look at 1) and 2). Jon defines mindfulness as paying attention in the present moment. But where else can you pay attention, besides the present moment?

Can you pay attention to the past moment or a future moment?

No, you can’t.

You can only remember past moments and you can only think or plan about future moments. You can pay attention to the memory about the past moment, and you can pay attention to the thoughts about a future moment.

When is it that the memory of a past event or the thinking or planning for a future event takes place? You guessed it right… Only in the present moment.

You cannot directly pay attention to the past moments or future moments. Because you can’t live in the past or in the future.

You can only pay attention to the moment where you live.

You can only live in the present moment.

The present moment is the only moment you ever have to live.

This also means, paying attention is same as being in the present moment. So, 1) and 2) are the same in mindfulness definition.

Mindfulness invites us to pay attention or be present.

How can that be helpful?

Why should you pay attention or be present?

There are a few reasons why paying attention can be helpful. As we go through our day, for the most part, we operate in a mode called auto-pilot. Remember when you last drove to work as part of your routine commute?

You get in the car and you get out of the car, having no recollection whatsoever of what happened in between. That’s an auto-pilot mode. Especially for the tasks that we repeat, we do them subconsciously and without paying attention.

You may argue that what is the big deal if you carry out mundane activities in auto-pilot mode. You are right. Driving to work on auto-pilot may not be a terrible thing.

But it is not about driving to work on auto-pilot. If you don’t do  anything about this auto-pilot mode, it becomes the habit. Then the habit of inattention starts creeping into all areas of your life.

And later, even when you want to pay attention you will not be able to. Because of the habit. That is why it is paramount that you train yourself to pay attention such that you can when you want to.

When you are not present you miss out on the experience.

This realization tends to come about only in the hindsight.

“At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a spouse, a friend, a child or a parent”.
Barbara Bush

Usually, you tend to have this realization only when you approach the end of your life.

Mindfulness points out that you can stop missing out on important experiences in life. It reminds you to make time for what is important in your life. Make time for the loved ones!

Also, it is not that difficult to realize that…

When you don’t pay attention, you are not that efficient or productive.

The more focused you are on the task at hand the more effective you will be at that task.

At work, you will be more productive if you can be just focused on the work, rather than getting distracted by news sites, social media, not so important emails, chit chats with friends or just daydreaming.

Of course, you need breaks, but how much precision do you have by default to direct your attention to where it needs to be?

Similarly, when you are off to vacation or when you are in your free time, you may again distract yourself by work thoughts or  worrying about things happened in the past or something that might go wrong in the future.

In either case, if you are able to be present with what you are supposed to do or enjoy in the moment, you will be better off!

Paying attention is different than thinking. You can pay attention to what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch.

But you can also pay attention to what you think.


Regards, Coyalita

Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist & Addiction Counselor

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