Are You Living Mindfully or Mindlessly?
By Sandy Schroeder
The words “mindful,” or “mindfulness,” have been getting a lot of attention lately as many of us think about using meditation and short breaks to cope with stress. But the first step to making use of these tools might be to ask ourselves how we are living right now.
Do many things just become mindless?
Mindless Work Grooves
I love a job groove. You may too. Everything fits, and when you get up in the morning you just hop in. That’s great, as long as you step back and take a look outside now and then.
Looking around keeps us in touch with ourselves, our friends, family and co-workers. It lets us spot changes in our jobs, and the needs of those around us. We may see new needs in our kids, problems our spouse has, or problems our community faces. A lot goes on outside of your groove. Stay aware and be ready to help. Your groove will still be there when you get back.
Mindless Ways of Thinking
As you work with others, try to understand their thoughts and ideas. That fresh flow of thought is the lifeblood of change we all need. Take the time to listen when those around you want to talk. Ask questions and keep learning.
Eating breakfast, showering and heading off to work may be your system. But what if you got up an hour earlier, and just sat and thought about everything. Could that put a whole new spin on the day?
Your “mindless” list may be different than mine. But the point may be the same. Operating “mindlessly” may mean we are missing a lot. It only takes a little time, here or there, to step away from your regular grooves and habits. What you see may be amazing, surprising or intriguing. But when you do, I think you will be glad you were aware.
Mindfulness could be the next step, once you are out of your groove. “Staying in the moment” is at the heart of mindfulness meditation. I use a form of it, taking a few minutes to sit on my patio, and let my thoughts, feelings, and sensations roll by without judging anything. Later, I may find new answers to current puzzles. I may feel less stressed and more focused.
If you are tired, anxious or just need a break, mindfulness practices could help. Start reading about it, or find a class or counselor that works for you.
As always, if you have persistent issues with anxiety or depression, see your physician to find a counselor to help you work through your issues and get more help.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.