Do you ever find yourself rehashing the past or worrying about what might (or might not) happen in the future? Congratulations — you’re human! But “borrowing trouble” in this way causes a lot of unnecessary stress (and not a single one of us needs that!). Practicing mindfulness — paying attention to the present moment with kindness and without judgment — can help put the kibosh on the unruly time traveler in your mind. Start living more mindfully:
Be a beachcomber, tree hugger or sunset watcher. Using all your senses to commune with nature can bring you into the present. Pay attention to the sight of a butterfly alighting, the texture of the grass beneath your feet, the sound of rain drops pattering — and notice when your mind tries to interrupt the sensory feast.
Sit and be with your breath. Sitting quietly and focusing on your breath gives you practice teasing apart what’s happening in the present moment from what’s happening inside your mind. Start with five minutes a day and build up to 20 or 30 minutes.
Label your thoughts. The next time your mind starts borrowing trouble, step back and notice what’s happening. Are you having “worried thoughts”? “Judging thoughts”? “Negative self-talk”? Labeling them for what they are can help you return your attention to the present moment.
”At sunset, Nature is painting for us…day after day…pictures of infinite beauty.” John Ruskin