By Harry King
It’s so easy today to get bogged down as modern living is so fast paced. Life seems to move so quickly. We constantly worry about the future or think about the past. In truth, it’s very difficult to live in the present. In 2018 there was a lot of hype about mindfulness and 2019 won’t be any different. Self-help books are being bought off the shelves quicker than they are been written. Many students won’t have time for a half hour meditation, however there are many diverse techniques to return to the present.
In truth there’s a mindful way to do everything. There are countless studies to prove that people who meditate are happier than those who don’t. It objectively helps with dealing with the stresses and anxiety brought about by everyday life. It makes sense in today’s world. Social media sucks society into believing social narratives about other people’s lives which simply are not true. Thus, the importance of taking time out for yourself can’t be ignored.
From journal writing to mindful walking there are many simple ways to de-stress and take a moment for yourself. Journal writing encourages you to reflect on the positives and negatives of the day gone past. Mindful walking just involves thinking about the sensation you feel when your feet hit the ground. Mindful listening involves paying attention to the sounds you hear in the environment around you. All techniques have certain qualities in common. They involve thinking about whatever it is that you are doing without a set agenda or passing judgement on it. To accept and appreciate.
Something as simple as reading a book or watching a film can work wonders for your mental health as long as you pay attention to it. Great art, whether its music, literature or film productions, has the ability to let you escape the daily hustle if you allow it to by giving it your undivided attention for as long as you can. The same serves for when you’re eating, you can’t fully appreciate a meal if it’s only complementing your phone.
You are where your attention is. How often do we meet somebody new and forget their name instantly? Mindfulness can help us with our daily interactions with peers also. The gift of your attention can bring two people closer together. Mindful listening involves stopping anything else you are doing when a friend is talking and to be patient with responses. You don’t always have to have a response ready to go before someone makes a point.
In its essence, mindfulness makes us feel better as it helps us accept objects and people for what they really are. A concept that marvels at the power of the present moment.
Many new year’s resolutions, statistically, will be absent by the end of this month. It might be a nice idea every day to take time for yourself and just become aware of any given situation. When we are young it always seems like we are preparing for something. For school, we prepare for exams to get into University. In University we prepare for a job, and in lots of jobs we prepare for another job. All of a sudden, a long time has passed, and it would be easy to forget what direction you want to go in life.
In the words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”