When we are mindful, we pay deliberate attention , in the present moment, to things as they are rather than to how we wish them to be .We broaden our focus beyond our thoughts , to all of of our senses (hearing, seeing, testing, touching , smelling our emotions and our bodily sensations. Instead of ruminating on the past-which we can’t change, or worrying about the future-things that may or may not ever happen, mindfulness can help keep us grounded in the full experience of the here and now.
This is invaluable . It is only in the present moment that we have an immediate choice about how we are going to respond to whatever situation we are in, or to how we are thinking or feeling.
Mindfulness enables us to pause, instead of falling victim to the endlessly looping tape of our thoughts and feelings. When we pause , we give ourselves the space and time to see that there may be other ways to respond to situations , freeing us from the tyranny of the old thought and behaviour patterns that automatically pop up .
Most importantly ,we may eventaully come to realize on a deep level , that thpughts are just thoughts . They are not necessarily reality and we don’t have to give them power. For example , you may wake up in the morning with the thought that you absolutely must get a certain number of things done that day, and that it’s going to be busy and hectic. With that waking thought, you may immediately feel stressed , tense and overwhelmed , feelings that you then carry with you throughout the day as you struggle , feeling more and more drained , to complete everything.
You might have had a very different, less stressful kind of day , howeverr if you had paused , you might have been able to make a more sensible decision about what really needed doing , so that your day would be more manageable.
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