By: Bethany Latimer
Have you ever had a delicious meal arrive in front of you and moments later look down to see that it was almost gone and you hadn’t really fully enjoyed it? Maybe you were too busy thinking about something that happened in your recent past or were worrying about something coming up in the near future? Most of us have trouble living in the moment. Our minds continuously shuffling through thoughts about the past and future.
Mindfulness; the ability to be fully aware of what is happening with our minds and bodies in the present moment. The Eastern World has practiced mindfulness since the beginning of time. The Western World is becoming aware of why this practice is so important. It is not an easy practice and it takes practice! There are hundreds of techniques to help a person stay in the present moment. These can often be done with more focus and awareness if you have some training in monitoring your thoughts and “self-talk.”
Mental health therapy is an excellent way to start becoming aware of the thoughts and self-talk that cycle through your head. It is hard to sort through by yourself. After all, our own minds often can not see the problems of our own minds! Getting feedback from a therapist that can recognize patterns in dysfunctional thinking can allow one to clear out some of that clutter that goes through our heads. We can examine reasons why we stay stuck in the past or overly focused on the future. We can learn to live in the moment and enjoy what is right in front of us. The ultimate way to find peace.
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any mental or physical condition. If you are struggling, please contact your healthcare provider, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Stepping Stone Community Services at 330-577-6656.