In mindfulness, there is often a focus on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ – an encouragement to ‘just be’. And yet mindfulness is equally relevant to when we are doing something, not just being.
We can practice giving our complete attention to whatever we are doing, whether it is something we enjoy or not. Did you notice the word ‘practice’? That’s because we have to remind ourselves to give our complete attention – we need to practice doing it because it takes practice – and we need to treat ourselves with kindness while we practice rather than beating ourselves up when we forget.
Brushing your teeth? Give it your complete attention. Stacking the dishwasher? Give it your complete attention. Typing an email? Give it your complete attention. Talking to a friend? Give them your complete attention. Going for a walk? Give it your complete attention. As you give something your complete attention, you will amazed what you notice, how you use your senses.
As we give full attention to whatever we’re doing – which psychologists sometimes call ‘living in a state of flow’ – we may find a sense of contentment or happiness. And that encourages us to keep going in the practice of mindfulness – in what we are doing as well as just being.
Ah yes, multi-tasking. Ditch it. Give your full attention to whatever you’re doing. You’ll be the happier for it.
This is Mindful Monday on 5 July 2021.