Food for Thought

Mindfulness: the art of being in the present

I signed up for training sessions at work to help with my personal (and career) development. I knew that I couldn’t advance in the workplace without working on improving personal temperament and myself. I feel stressed and easily irritated with customers who phone at the office demanding answers and I instantly get on the defensive. I’m there to provide a service, but sometimes the lack of appreciation from those you serve can get to you. That’s when I decided to add mindfulness training to my list of development needs at work. How can it help you?


In my first mindfulness training session, I was asked a very pertinent question: when was the last time you can think of where you were truly in the moment? Not just going through the motions like driving to your destination and not remembering much of the journey kind of way; truly remember everything you were doing in a moment, being present in a conversation and truly listening and remembering what happened on a given day. What was scary was the last time I remember being really in the moment was when the OH and I were in front of the Registrar at our wedding ceremony last September.

In a busy world when we are constantly being pulled in 10 different directions with a million tasks needing our attention, we spend less time focusing on ourselves and paying attention to those around us. It’s not easy trying to let your mind be free of all distractions behind and maintaining your focus on any given task. Our minds, I’ve been taught, is like a flowing river – constant and never-ending, filled with limitless thoughts. The aim of mindfulness training is to let your mind be free of the stress, emotion and feelings you attach to the thoughts swirling through your mind; to allow thoughts to flow through without attaching significance to it at a given moment.

“The hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One trend that has taken off for most adults is the therapeutic and calming result of mindfulness colouring. If the thought of colouring books doesn’t grab your attention there are various methods of practicing mindfulness that might suit. For example, yoga is a great way of allowing you to be present, in paying attention to your posture and breathing.

We lose so much of our lives that we spend only 49% (according to my work mindfulness instructor) being in the moment and aware of where we are and not just going through the motions. Taking control of your life,being aware of your thoughts before you voice them and how you come across to people you meet can have an impact on your relationship with others and improve your own well being.

There are other ways in search of mindfulness. I’ve been trying to adopt a more mindful frame of mind through various sources including Tiny Buddha and Happify. A good resource for searching for a mindfulness tutor or learning online is Be Mindful.

Mindfulness is not a one-stop shop for happiness; it is a continuous journey you lead to bring inner peace in your mind full of thoughts and emotions. Let your mind lead a more simple way of life by adopting healthier habits.

Share your tips for mindfulness below.


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