Time might seem to be a constant. A clock’s minute hand takes exactly sixty seconds to make its rotation. But we know from experience that sixty seconds can fly by if we’re doing something we love. We also know that the same sixty seconds can resonate with endless magic if we are immersed in awe.
Mindfulness brings that awe.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the state of attentively, non-judgmentally absorbing all there is to know about a moment. Stress is released. This isn’t about judging or evaluating. Rather, it’s about being fully and wholly present in the moment. What does the flower smell like? What shades of blue are drifting in the sky? What are the textures of the fabric? All those details make up the world around us.
Every moment is precious and unique. Each moment, once gone, never returns again. In a very real sense, we only exist in this one now. The past is gone and can never be changed. The future is unknowable and beyond our reach. The only moment in which we can act is this one here before us.
This is our time.
Mindfulness and Time
How we explore this moment before us has a tangible impact on the way we experience it. If we dismiss our ‘now’ as commonplace and boring, we might barely remember it later on. If we drive the same way to work every day, we can zone out so much that we cannot recount any details of the drive.
On the other hand, if we take a new route to work, and pay mindful attention to the sights around us, it could be that we have a wealth of new thoughts and memories by the time we arrive at our destination. The same amount of clock-time was invested – but the resulting reward in experiences is vastly greater.
Mindfulness can be applied to all aspects of life. To eating. To communicating with family and friends. To traveling from point to point. It adds dimension and value to every action that we take.
Benefits of Mindfulness
You might think that mindfulness only impacts the experience of our daily living. That is certainly an enormous benefit. But mindfulness brings far more with its practice.
Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety. The more we become aware of our place in the universe, the more we understand just what does and does not matter. Things which used to cause us stress no longer activate those triggers. We are more able to breathe. To relax. To understand.
Mindfulness also brings compassion and empathy with it. We understand better how we are all connected in this universe we share. We are all participants in our world. We all have a part to play. We all have our goals and dreams. We all face challenges.
Mindfulness brings improved health. It makes sense. So many health issues are exacerbated by stress hormones, by tension, and by a weakened immune system. Mindfulness naturally lowers blood pressure. It naturally strengthens the immune system. It improves sleep. The more that our body’s basic systems begin working smoothly, the better able everything else is to function in the upper layers.
Our entire system begins to run in tuneful harmony.
You don’t need any special equipment to start with mindfulness. You simply need to pause. Take in a deep breath. Look at this one moment you’re in. This precious, special, unique moment. Get a sense of what it tastes like. What fragrances it offers. Treasure it for its individual beauty.
Be in the current moment. Sense what it sounds like. What it feels like. Release stresses of the past or worries about the future.
Simply be in the Now.