Why even bother with mindfulness or meditation? What are the pros and cons? In my opinion, there is little to no downside. Other than a time commitment, I don’t think there is a downside.
One of the biggest upsides is the ability to remain in the present. It is said that depression comes from living in the past and anxiety is a fear of what is to come. I appreciate that both of these conditions have a deeper root than just thoughts causing them, but they are an ingredient.
One of the problems in today’s society is distraction. With technology, it seems impossible to be in the present. Just go out in public and just observe the amount of people who are staring at screens.
Over the past week I took a “Social Media Vacation”. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter. I wish there was a way to quantify this, but I definitely felt less stressed. There were times when I mindlessly opened my phone and started to look for FB and Insta app, but I remembered I was taking a break and didn’t open it.
When I awoke this morning to a grunting Obie (my yellow lab if you didn’t know). This is usually a sign that it is time to eat breakfast. I opened my facebook and started to scroll. After a few minutes, I thought, “This is really what I (we) do with our time?” Nothing of real interest or consequence to see on social media.
Over the last week, I felt more present and less anxious. If something was of great importance, I hope the person who is posting would call or text me if I NEEDED to know.
When you have a mindfulness practice, you are practicing “being in the moment”. Yes, our mind will wander from thought to thought, it is inevitable. This is where we learn to be non-judgemental and just let the thoughts happen. According to Jack Kornfield (an expert in meditation, I highly recommend him) he says that mindfulness and meditation is like training a puppy. You tell the puppy to “stay”, and then after a few seconds, he wanders away. You pick him up and put him back and tell him to “stay”. You don’t beat the puppy (if you do, you are an awful human)you are gentle with them so they can learn.
A combination of a mindfulness practice and limiting social media exposure are, IMO, the two most essential things you can do to become more present.
Time is finite. It is our most valuable resource that we think we have an abundance of. I have reflected back on times with loved ones and remember, there are times where I (or we) were mindlessly scrolling through our news feeds. I am suggesting that you spend your time talking and being present with the ones that you care about. There will be a “last time” when you are with someone. Make the time count.
Regret is an awful feeling. I try not to have many regrets, but as life is continuously changing and evolving, I need to remember to be present in my daily life and the ones that I am with.
I challenge you to take a “social media vacation”. It can be a day, 2 days, or a week. It’s up to you. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!
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Have a great Sunday!