What is the difference between living and being alive?
Many of us have a difficult time silencing our mind and allowing it to focus on one specific task. As we continue throughout our day, we are constantly distracted by events that occurred in our past and about the uncertainties of what our future holds. As conscious beings, it is critical for our mental health to live in the moment.
Mindfulness is not simply about incorporating ways to ignore all of our mental and emotional impulses to find some sort of absolute silence. It is not about disregarding our thoughts, but rather about being aware of them. By breaking down our thoughts in the present, we are able to better understand their origins, meanings, and most importantly what they tell us about ourselves. This allows us to constructively analyze our current actions and emotions, letting us act appropriately.
To successfully construct and maintain such a communication channel with yourself is the ultimate goal of integrating mindfulness into your life. It is when you start realizing the immense power that is manifested in your thoughts, that you truly begin to dictate the direction of your life. By unlocking your true potential, you begin to build the courage to pursue your dreams.
Although it is without question that if one were to completely shut off his or her thoughts by focusing on absolutely nothing, he or she would become more aware of the present. Such a strategy is extremely difficult for most individuals to incorporate, as we are constantly thinking. We were designed to withstand the tremendous pressures of endless thought processing, but only for a limited amount of time. Unless we purposely take a few minutes to question our occurring thoughts, we usually do not allow ourselves to take a break. By ineffectively processing all the information, we manifest an anxious and brittle lifestyle.
This is often observed when we try to deal with negative events that have occurred in the past. We tend to hold on to gloomy emotions and never move on. By using mindfulness, we can break down the situation that occurred. Instead of finding someone to blame and negatively exert our emotions on, we can channel the emotions towards learning more about ourselves. Also by understanding the context of events that cannot be changed, we can break them down and realize they do not define who we are currently and who we can be one day. We push ourselves to grow from what we once thought were crisis and view such events as merely stepping stones.
Not only can mindfulness help with dealing with the past, but by Incorporating it into your lifestyle, it can alleviate the anxiety caused by our uncertainties for the future. It is almost impossible to not think about the future. Our desires to control our outcomes and challenge ourselves to achieve our many goals are constantly crossing our minds. This view in which we are immersed with the idea of who we want to be in the future, questions whether or not we exist in the present. Instead of finding a way to distract ourselves from the future, we can utilize our time more efficiently by prioritizing our tasks and taking them on, one by one. With a clearer mind, unburdened by our imperfections, we empower ourselves to become the controller of our own lives and focus on more important tasks.
Indeed, all people are living, but not everyone feels alive.
If we are not cultivating a mindful attitude in our daily lifestyle, we are making the decision to accept that our past defines us and our fate is set in stone. Such a mindset can limit our capacity to generate new ideas, and will eventually obstruct our potential to change the world and safeguard our future.