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  • Writer's pictureLeah Burton- Saliba

Living in the Moment: Embracing Mindfulness in Everyday Life

I remember when I first learned about the concept and practice of mindfulness some years ago. If I am being perfectly transparent, I didn’t get the hype. 

Reflecting back, I realize that I had so many misconceptions and misunderstandings about what mindfulness meant and its purpose. I equated mindfulness with meditation, meditation with breathing techniques, and frankly, I never felt I was quite good at it. Maybe you can relate? 

Overtime, I have come to understand that mindfulness is not simply a skill that we practice in times of distress, though certainly this can be useful. Rather, mindfulness is a way of living, with present moment awareness and without judgment: what am I feeling right now? Where is that feeling in my body? What is going on around me? What thoughts are going through my mind right now?

Have you ever driven to work and wondered how you got there? Of course you know you arrived, you know you got in your car and took your normal route, but you don’t really have a conscious memory of your journey. Kind of scary right? That right there, is the opposite of mindfulness - autopilot! 

The reality is, we live a lot of life on autopilot and in doing so, we miss out on experiencing the moments in life that matter. You are sitting at the dinner table with your kids, but really thinking about that deadline at work that you are worried you won’t complete. You're enjoying a date-night with your spouse, but are totally sidetracked with something your colleague said that upset you last week. How often do we really live in the present? Acknowledging and being aware of what we are feeling, what is going on around us and how we want to respond.

When we can live mindfully, with present moment awareness, we are able to respond to circumstances, emotions, and thoughts with intention; rather than reacting without purpose. Instead of getting swept up in the heat of the moment or getting hooked by catastrophizing thoughts which dictate our actions, mindfulness can enable us to choose valued and effective actions that help us move towards the person we want to be in life. 

So, how do we do it? How do we live with this non-judgmental present moment awareness - should be easy right? The reality is mindfulness, while a way of living is also a skill, which means just like anything else, it takes practice. 

We can practice mindfulness using a variety of techniques, such as guided audio and visual meditations, breathing exercises, which bring our attention to our breath in the moment; and grounding exercises, which can help to slow us down and bring us back to the present. Ultimately, find what technique works for you and make practicing mindfulness a daily commitment and part of your everyday routine. Remember to let go of judgements and embrace each moment as it is. 

Speak to your clinician further about mindfulness, including skills you can practice and how it might be helpful for you!

If you're interested in exploring mindfulness further and learning practical techniques to incorporate into your daily life, our team of experienced clinicians at Anchoridge Counselling is here to help. Book an appointment with one of our mindfulness experts:

Our clinicians can provide personalized guidance and support as you embark on your mindfulness journey. Don’t wait to start living more fully in the present moment—contact us today to schedule your session!

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