What is living in the now? 

Read about what mindfulness is and why it is such a struggle to live in the now

 

The opposite is Mindlessness: 

Consider the opposite of living mindfully. It would be a life filled with wishful thoughts and day dreaming. In fact, mind wandering is one of the essential ingredients for creativity, especially in a world where the space for a private thought is becoming so scarce.

It would be us reminiscing the good times we had with our friends and the love and pamper we had from our parents during our childhood. Good times, right?

Now, imagine the plight of those who didn’t have a perfect life growing up. Think of those people who would act on their impulses in the name of living life on their own terms.

Lets be honest here. If we were all to just be guided by the “wisdom” of our hearts, we will be savages. Unlike animals, humans have the advantage of rational discernment. We have the super human power to choose before we decide.

 

Why should we live in the now? 

There are countless ways we live in our head for most part of our lives. We think about something hurtful that we should have said to teach someone a lesson, and regret that we did not. We anticipate hardships and unfavorable results in the future to a task that we’re putting a great effort into now.

But these kinds of thoughts, feelings and emotions lead us to depression – if we spend too much of our time in the past, or anxiety – if we’re too anxious about unknown outcomes of the future. Living in the now and making our best judgment calls based on the present set of circumstances we’ve been given, is the single most way to finding happiness and peace. 

 

The many happy side effects of Mindfulness: 

Helps us fall in love: Falling in love is an act that we perform while being fully present. There’s just no way around it. When you understand the physiological changes that occur inside you when you see into the eyes of a loved one, and realize that you both can’t possibly be anywhere else, that’s when the magic happens. Ohhh, that was intense.

Cultivates the brain: Constantly checking in with ourselves helps us identify when we’ve drifted. The art of gently bringing back our focus without judgment or reproach, is called the practice of mindfulness. This phenomenon improves the neuroplasticity of our brains which boosts in memory function and emotional agility.

Improves health: Aiming our focus at the present moment helps us from getting carried away with anxious and depressing thoughts and reduces stress. It improves our sleep and our over all wellbeing.

Makes us compassionate: Being present for others helps us read facial cues, body language and subtle imperceptible signals we might miss if we were to be on our phones or distracted. Its helps us to react to the needs of the other person with compassion with offer ready answers to problems.

Leadership 101: Being attentive to changes around us and fully experiencing life in real time makes us terrific leaders. The ability to be responsive and relevant can only be achieved through the practice of mindfulness. It is also related to how leaders achieve likability before success.

Seeing the bigger picture: Acknowledging our feelings and returning to the present moment enables us to enjoy the richness of life as it unfolds. It helps loosen our grip on the relentless pursuit of the meaning of our emotions, thoughts and feelings and our preoccupation with the “self”. 

Boosts productivity: When we stop being on autopilot, we stop getting lost into unrelated thoughts and act skillfully and wholeheartedly at the task at hand, giving it the best of our attention.

Promotes wholesome living: When we give ourselves fully to the moment, we enjoy and relish the activities we participate in. We value our time more instead of rushing from one event to another without fully engaging in any one of them.

Ponder on this. How sad is it for our loved ones to be the victims of the thought crises that we personally are experiencing?

Further Reading: 

Actionable tips on how to achieve mindfulness

Mindfulness works in a few beneficial ways.
1. It makes less mind wandering, when you’re deliberately in the moment.
2. It enhances the capacity of the prefontal cortex to say no to emotional impulses.
3. It helps us keep the focus on the one thing that is important.
~ Daniel Goleman

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