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Many of us, even if we don’t travel for work, do something similar by avoiding spending time in the home of our own minds. If being fully present—or in the parlance of modern meditators, being mindful—is boring, stressful, sad, or scary, you’re not going to want to do it very much. You can have a more pleasant time being psychologically out of town, as it were.
But you should work to be more mindful anyway.
If you can't meditate, it boils down to two problems:
You don’t know how to be at home in your head, or you do know and have concluded that home is no fun.
If the former is what’s stopping you, then by all means, dig into the extensive and growing technology and literature on mindfulness. You might try formal meditation or simply pay attention more to your current surroundings.
But if your problem is the latter, you need to face the source head-on. Avoiding yourself won’t work in the long run.
Avoiding mindfulness to avoid emotions makes things worse, not better.
Mindfulness is not the same thing as navel-gazing. To be here now does not mean obsessing over yourself and your problems and disregarding others. Scholars have shown that excessive self-concern can increase defensiveness and the perception of threat.
Mindfulness should work instead toward a sense of yourself as part of the wider world, and an observation of your emotions without judgment. As you work to focus on the present, remind yourself of two things: You are just one of more than 7 billion human beings, and your emotions will come and go as a normal part of being alive.
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