Mindfulness and Being in the Present


People on the street would actually think you're crazy if you inquire where their minds are most of the time, but then they'll say, "My mind is right here." Is that correct? 

Much of us waste a lot of time daydreaming about the past or the future. Many of our emotions revolve about things we regret in the past or are concerned about in the future. 

We fret, fear, grieve, imagine the worst-case scenario in the future, and repeat painful events from the past. In theory, it would be prudent to replay only positive thoughts, but we seem to replay bad thoughts like broken records in our minds. The most of our opinions seem to be fairly consistent. Day after day, we've been thinking the same (often painful) feelings! As a result, our minds are often unaware of the moment and are often immersed in a separate time frame, either the past or the future. 

Mindfulness will help you break free from your habitual thoughts by taking you back to the current moment. 

Stop right now, take a deep breath, and focus on the current moment. Are things, for the most part, going well right now? The future has not arrived, the past has passed, and for now, it simply is. 

This basic mindfulness technique—learning to restore the attention to the current moment, no matter what is going on—is extremely beneficial when dealing with difficult feelings, feelings, and interactions. 

You'll learn how to do this. Emma, a twenty-three-year-old professional actor, suffered with self-doubt on a daily basis. She came into class elated after a couple weeks of MAPs: “I had an audition today, and for the first time ever, I didn't judge myself.” I did find judgement in my head, but I simply paused, took a deep breath, and chose to be conscious rather than judgmental. 

All the judgement only ended as I sensed my body and heard my thoughts.” It is not necessary to remove imaginative ruminations, past reflections, or reflective thinking in order to return to the present moment by letting go of thoughts. 

Giving yourself an option in your emotions is what mindfulness is all about. Rather than being at their hands, you should exert more power over them. 

You'll learn when it's best to concentrate on the present moment (especially when dealing with stressful or pessimistic thinking) and when it's best to use imaginative and other mental functions as you learn to control your attention. Sunila, a 44-year-old internist, tells us, "It's crucial for me to be able to be truly present with patients as a physician." But I'm balancing a lot of things at the moment, like looking through their case and the other cases I'm working on every day. I'm always trying to think about new ways to solve problems. 

As a result, I've learned how to practice my mind. When I'm with a patient, I pay close attention to what they're doing. I give them my undivided attention. Once I've left the bed, I let my mind wander, contemplate, and dream creatively. I've only had some success in this after practicing mindfulness, and my patients have made a difference.

You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.