We spend a lot of our time either lost in our memories or thinking about the future.
Perhaps you’re reliving a happy memory or perhaps you’re remembering that irritating comment your mother-in-law made last weekend.
Maybe you’re looking forward to a weekend away or maybe you’re dreading that meeting with your superior next week.
We tend to get lost in scenarios about what could have happened or what might happen and our inner chimp tends to take over. (The Chimp is the name for that bit of the brain that runs on emotions and thinks in black and white.)
But if there is one thing we can have control over, it is the present moment.
With all the stress, responsibilities and distractions that come our way, it is important that we try to be mindful.
But mindful of what? What does that mean? We want to be mindful that we have been taken out of the present moment.
Mindfulness is the act of simply being in the moment; your mind is not in the past or in the future but in the here or now, focusing on what you are doing.
Being able to focus and shut out the ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ distractions will make you happier, calmer and help you to see things how they actually are, not just how you perceive them to be.
Here are a couple of exercises you can try to train your brain to be more mindful.
- Start meditating
Meditation is proven to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. You can start small. Instead of trying to start meditating for 30 minutes every day right away, start with a daily guided 3 minute mindfulness meditation on YouTube. Then as you become more comfortable focusing on the present moment, you can increase your time to 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes.
People have the idea that multitasking is great for productivity when in fact it could leave you less focused and efficient than you might think. You’re so busy trying to do everything, that nothing gets done. Single-tasking is about fully committing to what you’re doing at any one time. At work, you could dedicate a time to checking emails so that you aren’t interrupted throughout the day. At home, you could watch TV without being on your phone.