Of all the things we can focus our attention on, we pay little attention to the present moment - the now. Often our attention goes to thoughts about the past or the future. When we are doing that, we miss out on what is happening right in front of us. For example, as we are taking a shower in the morning, we rarely pay attention to showering itself and all the sensations involved. Instead, we are focusing on the things that need to be done that day, or we think about things we did yesterday.
The thinking mind IS an enormously powerful tool, but it can be very difficult to keep it under control. In most cases, thoughts are driving us, rather than the other way around. Our constant thinking and analyzing can cause emotional imbalance. This is because we are often not able to stop thinking, analyzing and planning when it is no longer necessary. Thinking, analyzing and planning are powerful tools but often difficult to let go of. Consequently, we think more about life than we actually experience life.
Our constant thinking makes it impossible for us to fully enjoy every moment in life – for example enjoying a tasty meal or snack, fully experiencing a beautiful concert or the soothing sounds of the falling rain. And this constant thinking not only distracts our attention from the here and now but when this thinking is generally negative, it can also cause problems such as anxiety or stress.
One great tool you can practice to help stop this constant thinking and start living life in the Present Moment is the practice of Mindfulness. Mindfulness can help us realize that thoughts are just thoughts; they are not reality – they are not who we are. By focusing our attention on the present moment, we free ourselves from obsessive thinking and make contact with our experience of life - helping us to disconnect from our mental story. Soon we realize that in this moment, right here and right now, there is rarely a problem – instead there is peace and joy. Stress and anxiety do not exist in the present moment.
It is important to note that you are not trying to change the emotions or feelings that are present, but rather observe and accept what you experience. Mindfulness can help to become aware of the automatic influence of thoughts on emotions and vice versa. Thoughts and emotions are not altered – instead how you relate to these emotions and thoughts is changed. Feelings are less driven by thoughts and you become the observer of your thoughts.
If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness, check out my website for my next Free Mindfulness Webinar: https://www.lisaannmueller.com/events