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Appreciating the present

theguardian.com

Our wandering minds

We spend almost half of our time doing one thing while thinking about another.

Daydreaming makes us more unhappy than if we were paying attention to the present moment, even when it's unpleasant.

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Dealing with difficult experiences

Distracting ourselves from difficult experiences seems to exacerbate rather than reduce, the stress they cause.

When the mind wanders, it's usually drawn into negative ruminations or projection, making us feel worse than if we simply focused on our actual experience.

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Cultivating awareness

By noticing what's happening with gentle curiosity, we start to work constructively with the events of our lives.

Gently bringing our minds back to the present can help us let go of these unhelpful interpretations and see situations for what they are, rather than getting pulled into ...

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Mindfulness training

It's the art of paying attention and there's strong evidence that it helps us in a range of ways: managing low mood, anxiety, and pain to enhancing creativity, choice and compassion.

Mindfulness isn't a quick fix – like any skill, it requires commitment and practice.

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Being present in the moment

  • Pay attention to your breathing. Find a quiet space and concentrate on the flow of your breath, in and out. 
  • Bring awareness to sensations of touch.  Consciously feeling your feet on the floor, your bottom on a chair or your clothes against your skin can bring your mind...

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William James

"The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will."

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