As a Psychologist and a Mindfulness Coach, I can say that the worst thing we do and that most of the time leads to deterioration of our mental health is to not to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment.
When I say “what is happening in the present moment” I mean not only how we are breathing, feeling, sitting, behaving, but especially what are we doing and thinking about right now. This awareness for the moment is called mindfulness.
So the worst thing we inadvertently do every day is to abandon ourselves to an automatic pilot, just go into the routine and let our thoughts happen without that we are aware of them. This habit can lead to a lot of what I see in my praxis: anxiety, fear, stress, depression, and a general loss of joy, happiness and quality of life.
When we get more and more mindful of the present moment, we can address crucial questions like:
- What am I feeling right now? Why?
- What am I thinking about right now? Do I want to think about this now?
- What am I doing right now? Do I really want to do this now?
- Is what I am doing now participating into making me happier on the long run?
- Am I focused on what I am doing now? Or am I disturbed by distracting thoughts and emotions?
Mindfulness improves your quality of life
Not paying attention to those daily moments of mindfulness can undermine the quality of our life and sometimes makes it feel like empty or meaningless. Then we tend to compensate by all kinds of short term pleasures: more alcohol, more smoking, more food, more work, more stress, more lost time on social media; then we need more money, and there is no end to the dissatisfaction we can have. The other way is more friends, more love, more family, more spirituality, more health, more generosity, more deep connections, more beauty, more contemplation, more understanding, more contentment…
If you want to learn more about mindfulness, you can try a small exercise.