This is a brief and personal account of the immense benefit I recently gained from ‘living in the moment’. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and massively stressed by trying to take on and process too much. There were many pressing situations to analyse and make decisions about, causing my head to pound and body to ache. I wanted to stop the bus and get off for a while to give my brain and senses a complete rest. And that’s what I did.
For the next 36 hours off and on I practised ‘living in the moment’, or as it is also called ‘mindfulness’, for several hours at a time. I sat in my favourite chair, closed my eyes and started to think about my breathing, which was really difficult at first and then I moved from thinking about my breathing to thinking about absolutely nothing. Nothing in the past, nothing in the future, no internal mental chatter, just resting in the stillness and focusing on being in the current moment. Sometimes I had ClassicFM playing on the radio sometimes not. Sometimes I could hear the dogs barking in the distance or the birds chattering outside. Sometimes not. Either way, focusing on the present moment forced me to stop overthinking and completely clear my mind, which in turn caused the stress to melt away.
I still felt pretty tense after my first session but after some family time and household chores I returned to the chair and more mindfulness.
Although like mental toughness, mindfulness is a mental state that helps you cope with everyday life and deal with tough times, it does so in a different way. After several sessions over the two days I felt well again with much more clarity and energy to tackle the week ahead .
Whilst I practice a form of mindfulness early every morning with my first cup of coffee and a brief visualisation of the day ahead, this deep mindfulness was incredibly relaxing and beneficial and something I will implement into my regular routine.
So, next time you are feeling stressed, I can recommend that you go for a walk, sit quietly or do something that enables you to fully concentrate on being in the moment. Even five or ten minutes mindfulness will help you better manage your stress and give you back your feeling of control.
For more on what to do when feeling stressed contact us.