Research shows that the mind wanders 47% of the time. That means almost half the time you are trying to focus your mind will veer to another subject or thought. Half the time you are talking to someone thinking something else. Just think how exhausting that is.
Do you ever feel like you want to give your mind a rest but can’t figure out how to decompress? How to clear your mind? This is one reason why people want to watch television or have sound playing in the background so they can be doing multiple things at once or to take their mind from thinking too critically and you can “zone out”.
But noting that living in constant distraction will keep you from living in the present. Have you ever tried to only focus on what is in front of you? The person you are speaking with? The task you are set out to do? Have you ever had a laser focus on just that one thing?
It’s just as hard as it sounds but being mindful is a skill that you can hone in on. It just takes practice and intent. With anything and everything, whatever you practice will become stronger. If you practice thinking about your mantras for 5 minutes a day and only repeating those thoughts, focusing on your breathing and your body and how you feel, you’ll become stronger. Your mind will focus and hone in on your mantras.
The same is true if you focus on bad things, your minds ability to see bad will increase and become stronger.
So how can you practice being present?
- Ask yourself “am I here?
- Pay attention to all the sounds around you. Allow your ears to receive and pay attention to them.
- Notice and recognize body sensations
- Pay attention to your breathing
- Bring your attention to what is happening outside your body and inside your body (senses)
- Pay attention to mind and listen to what thoughts are generating but do not respond. Observe your own mind in action
- Widen your view to silence, stillness, and spaciousness
- Feel the sensation of our physical presence
- Remove the “next task” thought process
- The end and the beginning
Being present transforms conversations. When you speak with someone who is wholeheartedly present in the conversation, you leave feeling better than before. When someone truly gives their attention to you, that feeling is special and worth noting.
If you are anything like the Apex Consulting Solutions management team, where our goal is to make every person who crosses paths with our company fee better than before they met us then you’ll find being mindful a skill you’ll want to improve too.
We’ve learned to invest and place a high value on the power of being present and being mindful of our thoughts. Being mindful means we are careful in the thoughts we allow to fester and grown. Being present means we allow ourselves to be in the moment completely and wholeheartedly. Combining the two has the power to transform our ability to motivate, influence, and create a grander scope of influence
Practicing may feel overwhelming at first. THAT IS OKAY! It won’t be easy at first and it might not be easy for a while. It may take 3 months, 6 months, or a year to really hone in on that skill. The outcome and impact actively practicing on this skillset, however, will be exponential and steamroll you and your team’s growth.
We recommend starting with 5-10 minutes a day focusing and practicing being mindful and present. Increase it by 5 minutes/ week or every two weeks. If you practice this and it works for you, we’d love to hear how you applied the teachings and how it helped you personally or professionally.
This blog was inspired by a TED talk given by Shauna Shapiro on the Power of Mindfulness and an article written in Psychology Today to help practice being present.
To watch the Ted Talk by Shauna Shapiro: Click here
To link to the Psychology Today article: Click here