Mindfulness – a contemporary word that describes the state of being in the moment.
It seems that over the past 5 years mindfulness has become a buzzword. Maybe it’s because it seems easier to practise this than meditation. It can be hard to just focus on the in breath and out breath because the mind naturally wonders. This is lovingly termed monkey mind. Even when telling those thoughts to go away, or to silence them, the opposite seems to happen.
Mindfulness on the other hand, focuses your attention usually on something that you can see or hear. Some people have used it to lose weight by focusing on each mouthful and ensuring they take time to chew their food. I’ve found it useful to snap me out of a bad mood, to just take a moment to take in the surroundings, a break from thought if you like.
It seems that whilst we are becoming more mindful about our living life, we can sometimes be less so in our virtual existence. For example, many of us have a social media account, some have more than one. At first it was used as a tool to reconnect with people and entertainment, but when does it become an obsession. If we thought about how much time is lost to checking what other people we were up to, and counted this across the week, we would probably find that a lot of our days are filled with this.
However, I think what we really need to do is be more mindful about the time we spend on our social media accounts. I think we need to realise that it’s good to sometimes be a little bored, and to let our minds wander, and not to check who is doing what online. Who cares? Social media can be a fantastic tool to reconnect with people and to have discussion topics for when you meet up with people, if you are stuck for conversation. For example, I saw you posted a photo of your holiday in Spain – how was it?
Where we need to be more mindful, is when we are spending more time on our virtual lives, than living our real lives. Some people love online gaming, but when it starts to take over important aspects of your life, for example sleep, then they need to be mindful of this and maybe think about what they can change. If you’re practising mindfulness when driving why not extend this to your virtual presence?
As usual, I would love to hear your comments on this.