Mindfulness is the practice of living in the present moment and has been linked to improved mental and physical health. Mindfulness can also help to manage racing thoughts, excessive worrying and difficult feelings, such as anger, anxiety, and loneliness. Mindfulness is a skill that can be developed with regular practice. Here are three ways to connect with the present moment.
Use Your Senses
Experiencing the world through your senses brings you into the present moment and enables you to live a more prosperous life. People use their sight and hearing as primary ways to navigate their daily lives, but most people pay less attention to their senses of smell, taste, and touch. Practice using all of your senses as often as possible to increase your general awareness.
Explore Everyday Objects
People often ignore or overlook the things they see every day, as their brain becomes familiar with these objects and eventually stops paying attention to them. You can build your mindfulness muscle by taking the time to explore objects and locations that you see on a regular basis. The aim is to see the object from a different perspective. For example, if you walk along the same street every day, try walking along the opposite side of the road and paying attention to the buildings, trees and other objects on the street.
Practice Compassionate Listening
The ability to listen with compassion can deepen relationships and improve all areas of communication, but most people lack this basic skill. Focusing on what a partner, family member or friend is saying can be difficult, as the words you hear are often filtered through layers of meaning and personal expectations. For example, if your partner is feeling unhappy, you may interpret this as a criticism of your relationship, which will make it challenging to listen objectively. Learning to let go of these mental filters can take a long time, but the results are often life-changing. Sri Chinmoy, who was a renowned meditation teacher, would often speak about the benefits of listening to your inner voice as well. He once stated, “Listen to the inner light; it will guide you. Listen to inner peace; it will feed you. Listen to inner love; it will transform you, it will divinize you, it will immortalize you.”
Mindfulness is a skill that can be developed and strengthened with practice. Using your senses to connect with the world around you, exploring everyday objects that you would usually overlook, and learning to listen compassionately are three simple ways to connect with the present moment.