The third major technique I use to improve life’s quality is mindful presence in everyday life. This might seem like a weird technique but once you learn about it and start applying it, things will change.
To explain it in short, it means being present in the here and now. We all tend to function on autopilot, especially if there are a lot of daily obligations to do. Then at the end of the day we wonder where did this day go and how did it pass so fast? This technique is a form of day long mindfulness meditation. Just like in formal mindfulness meditation when you are fully concentrated and present while sitting or lying down, mindful living is like meditating as you do daily obligations.
How can life change with mindful living? First of all, you become aware of your day and how you spend it. By being aware, you will start noticing little things and correct them as they come. Maybe it will even help you to get less frustrated by unimportant things because as soon as you start getting upset, you will catch that thought and it will not advance as it normally would if you were living on autopilot. By being mindful you start noticing how much you eat and when you are full, how you drive the car, what a beautiful day it is or how lovely the rain is. This is just to name the few things.
When I was depressed, I went through entire spring without noticing the beauty of it. Trees and flowers would start blossoming in March, the weather would become refreshing, but I went through my days just coping to stay alive and suddenly summer would come (I noticed that because of the heat). I didn’t even want to notice anything because the beauty of it would just make me more depressed. Luckily my bad depression is gone but I still occasionally feel down. Everyone feels sad or down every now and then because of stressful work day or PMS or that minus on bank account. But then I just start applying this technique, and guess what? I start seeing the beauty in life, in our planet Earth, in my family and friends, in the field flowers (I never used to care about flowers, now every time I pass by a lovely flower I take a picture of it because each one of them is uniquely beautiful). And it all overrides the down side of my present state. Being mindful about everything means seeing the bad stuff but also the good that surround us. And then I realize life itself is a precious jewel that occasionally gets dirty and needs cleaning, and that after every rain come the sun. And after every sunny day, comes the rain that is beautiful in its own way and necessary for our life on this planet.
I encourage you to try mindful living. Try to notice all the details of the present moment. In the beginning it might be difficult because mind tends to wonder off, just like in formal meditation. But by noticing everything you will become more grateful, enjoy life more, see the bad things as a temporary state that will pass and life will be passing with a meaning.
It all begins with a decision to be mindful. When you notice your mind is somewhere else, simply bring the attention back to present moment and observe what is happening right now. Do it again and again. In the beginning you will see nothing significant, but as the time goes you will start noticing the change.
May you become mindful to your benefit!