Sex & Life
Sex & Life August 10, 2016
So, you’re trying to be more present, more focused on the here and now and less focused on the would-be or could-be. You hope that by being a more mindful woman, you can start to appreciate life more and worry less. You know how you want to feel and you even know the steps that you can take to make it a reality.
Unfortunately, there are distractions that you just can’t ignore. There are emails to respond to, phone calls to make and a mountain of bills to pay. These are just a few of the millions of distractions that get in our way. All of these distractions can add up and quickly spiral out of control if you’re not actively working to ground yourself.
The point of mindfulness, however, is to help you manage these distractions by focusing on what’s most important in your life. If you allow yourself to engage in behavior that actively gets in the way of this practice, then you won’t be able to take advantage of all that mindfulness has to offer.
There is probably nothing more dangerous to mindfulness than the self-proclaimed multitasker. She is the woman who texts during your lunch date, does her mascara on the way to work and watches “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” while riding her elliptical. She may even make you feel lazy for quietly enjoying a cup of coffee.
Through no fault of her own, Miss Multitasker is the product of a society that encourages us to go, go, go until we can’t go anymore. This behavior can lead to a variety of health problems if it goes unacknowledged for too long. An article in The Huffington Post references a study from The University of California and Harvard Business School which found that constant “interruptions in one’s personal or professional life can lead to stress, frustration and reduced creativity.” Think about your common distractions so you can begin to work on the things that take away from a healthy, mindful lifestyle.
One of the most common impediments to mindful practice is something that we can’t see, touch or feel. It exists only in our memory, yet we can’t seem to get away from it. The past can come back to haunt us for days, weeks and even years. It might be something we said that we now regret or something we did that we are still embarrassed by ten years later.
No matter how trivial or stupid, we can’t be like Elsa and just let it go. Studies have shown that the happiest people are those who can let the past stay in the past. Of course, we need to acknowledge the past in order to learn from our mistakes, but dwelling in it is both unhealthy and unproductive.
Let’s face it, we have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone ten years from now. Being aware of deadlines is important. Thinking ahead and being prepared is also important, but stressing about the future won’t make it any clearer. Just as focusing on the past won’t make it go away, focusing on the future won’t change what is to come. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to focus on the here and now. Call up that relative, go climb that mountain in Peru or do whatever you have to do to acknowledge the present moment and all it has to offer.
None of us are perfect. We all have flaws, things we would like to change about ourselves, and things we would like to do better. These are the things that make us human and we must learn to accept them and move on. Part of being an adult is acknowledging a mistake in order to learn from it and then having the courage to move past it. As Dory says in “Finding Nemo,” “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”
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