Over the years I heard bits and pieces about mindfulness and never quite knew what to think of it. It was new to me but far from new to everyone else it seemed. I didn’t give it much thought because at the time, I felt it was of no benefit to me and just one more thing I would have to learn and believe in. Recently, however, my thoughts have come around to what I consider the fundamental benefit of being present.
I work in a high stressed field which can be both emotionally rewarding and emotionally draining at the same time. I find myself at the end of the day completely worn out from the day’s activities yet my mind is churning with everything yet to be done. And so I thought about what it means to be present, in time and moment. Recently, I sat through a session where the speaker took us through an experience with chocolate. It was the most difficult thing for me to quiet my mind and savor the experience for the couple of minutes that it took to do so. Since then I’ve become more aware of what I am doing as I am doing it, allowing myself to become immersed in the taste, smell, feel, sound of the moment. I am still new to this, so of course my mind wanders and I constantly have to bring myself back to the present. However, in this ever moving world where we are constantly thinking about what we’ve just done, what we have to do next or what we should be doing, the art of sitting still is even more vital to our mental and emotional well-being.
So I challenge each and every one of you to try it. Whether you want to call it mindfulness or just sitting still; practice being present. Find five minutes out of your day, in the car before you drive out, on the train, on the bus, in the shower or before pressing the ‘on’ button on the television remote, take those few minutes to sit completely still. If it helps, find an object to hold in your hand(s) that will ground you and keep you focused. Experience the sounds, feelings, smells of your immediate environment, internally and externally….and breathe. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes and the more you find yourself being able to relax. In the field of social services, we use mindfulness with our clients and patients to help them manage anxiety, stress and to regulate emotions. Well now it’s our turn. Be mindful for you! Until next time…
Shari Hines Warner is a Therapist, Attorney and Speaker in South Florida. Shari works with individuals and couples to find their inner strength and resolve interpersonal and relational conflicts. To schedule an appointment with Shari call (754) 999-0716 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.