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4 Reasons You’re Having a Hard Time with Mindfulness

Expand your awareness of the present moment and focus entirely on what you’re experiencing at that moment in time. Think your brain is too busy to focus? Mind scattered, busy, long to-do lists, you’ve taken on more than you can handle? You’re not alone.

If I could give this feeling of peace and calm to everyone I would. Maybe I can help you get there on your own. Expand your awareness of the present moment and focus entirely on what you're experiencing at that moment in time. Think your brain is too busy to focus? Mind scattered, busy, long to-do lists, you've taken on more than you can handle? You're not alone. Click through to read the full article at http://jillconyers.com. Pin it now for when you have time to read it later.

Life on autopilot. We’ve all experienced it. Going about daily tasks mindlessly with little to no awareness until suddenly whatever you’re doing is done or you’ve arrived at your destination without awareness of the drive to get there.

After completing Yoga Teacher Training last month life became even busier. Not only have I added teaching yoga to my calendar. I have also returned to work after a long and wonderful summer break.

Add the workday back to my calendar and life was beginning to feel overwhelming. Ironically, even with all that is happening, I’ve never felt more balanced, centered and at ease. I am less overwhelmed and definitely less stressed and part of the reason for that is a conscious effort to practice mindfulness. I’ve stopped [almost] entirely doing one thing while thinking about what I need to do next. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true, I’ve stopped focusing on the destination and started enjoying the details of the journey.

Why you might be having a hard time being mindful:

  1. You don’t understand what it is [and isn’t]. Mindfulness isn’t about being perfectly present and focused at all times. Mindfulness isn’t something only for by people that practice yoga or meditate. Mindfulness is about being aware when your mind has wandered and bringing your focus and attention back to the moment.
  2. You’re making it more complicated and bigger than it needs to be. You can notice when your mind is wandering in the shower, while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee or playing with your kids. You can take a deep breath before you react to a frustrating situation. You can notice your breath in line at the grocery store. And no matter how scattered, spacey or impulsive you’ve been, you can always begin again.
  3.  You’re only practicing as a reaction to being upset. Our brains have a hard time learning something new when they’re under stress. The more you practice being focused on the present moment when you’re happy and calm, the easier and more effective it will be when you’re stressed and crazy busy.
  4. You’re trying to do it alone. Practicing mindfulness is breaking a habit long held habit. As with learning anything new, look for support with books, videos, classes and friends.

Life is a beautiful gift and is filled with magical moments. Every second of it deserves to be lived whole heartedly.

Mindfulness in the news:

Mindfulness Exercises That Treat Anxiety Disorders In Kids

How Mindfulness Propelled USA Olympic Water Polo Player Merrill Moses To The Olympics

Study Looks at Mindfulness-Based Eating for Obesity

Students as young as five doing daily meditation as mindfulness movement sweeps Victorian schools

Yes, life is busy. I’m adjusting to being back at work, enjoying as much time with my son as I can while he’s home from college, trying to find a yoga studio that is a great match with my teaching, and beginning the craziness of senior year with my daughter. Did I mention I turned a year older yesterday?

It’s all good. I imagine when I was busy stressing out life was good then too. I was just too distracted to notice.

If I could give this feeling to everyone I would. Maybe I can help you get there on your own.

Lets chat.

Do you struggle with being present in the moment? Are you a master multi-tasker? Have you ever driven home from work on autopilot and a little surprised when you notice you’re home?

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45 Comments

  1. i think number 2 is key for me. I overcomplicate a lot. Simplifying thoughts and mindfulness actions doesn’t have to be. Just awareness is key, right?

  2. I love the quote! I totally believe and cant stress enough how important that is!!

  3. This is a great post and coming at exactly the right time. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in writing this and for sharing it with all of us.

  4. I’ve never tried yoga before, but I have learned so many benefits online that I might try it. I know meditation helps so much with daily stress.

  5. I definitely struggle with being present and ‘in-the-moment’ for sure! I try to tell myself I am a good multi-tasker, but I suppose I am not because my attention feels like it is being pulled in all directions most of the time!

  6. I think I make it more complicated than it needs to be which is why I tend to fall out of routine again and again. Its something I am working on!

  7. I literally learned something new…mindfullness is not what I been taught. I think its something we all should work on so we can be centered and balance thanks for the information I want to do better in this department.

  8. Great post. I have worked on incorporating mindfulness and meditation into my routine over the past couple of years, and have definitely benefited from doing so. I think a lot of people feel they don’t know how to do it, or aren’t good at it, but rest assured that everybody feels that way! We get lost in thought and spend so much time thinking about things that happened in the past, or worrying about the future. Mindfulness is simply bringing your thoughts back to the present, and this post provides some great advice – don’t make it more complicated than that.

    Taking a few deep breaths is simple and great when you’re feeling stressed – breathe in slowly (4-7 seconds) as if you’re filling your stomach with air, clear your mind, and breathe out slowly (4-7 seconds). Do this 4 or 5 times (or as many as you want! If anyone’s interested, you can also start with some simple guided meditations. There are lots of free ones available on YouTube. It’s simple – listen through headphones and follow the instructions! This one’s short but sweet:

  9. I have definitely driven on auto-pilot. It usually happens when my ADD kicks in, but I really do work on being present.

  10. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    I really do struggle with being present in the moment. I let things on my mind stress me a little too much sometimes that I don’t take in what I am a part of at the time.

  11. I like being present but I have to admit, I love when I have the opportunity to let my mind wander. It’s such a rarity these days. 🙂

  12. Life on autopilot is definitely known in my life yes I seem to be busier than ever but I’m working and more content than before

  13. Great tip to use videos. I often have a hard time focusing on one singular thing. I need to flex this muscle more.

  14. You are right, it is easier to learn when we are aware and practice when there is less stress. Thanks for that great reminder

  15. Yes, now defininatly, I name it more complicated than it has to be. Thanks for the helpful tips

  16. Not only am I coming from being a proud multitasker, I am now learning to control my thoughts to be present and to guard against them going to negative things. Thanks for the reminders,

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

  17. I am really going to read up on this! I find my mind wandering so much more lately and I can easily arrive at a destination and have no recollection on driving there. Thanks!!

  18. Great post! I def need to practice this more. I find myself with so much to do that I flit around and do 1 part of everything on my list and then feel like I have accomplished NOTHING! So I have been working on focusing on 1 task at a time for a specific time frame or until it is finished. I can say that is does help.
    Thank you for the reminder in this post 🙂

  19. Love this post! Sometimes we need to learn to be patient with ourselves! mindfulness, I am thinking more about it! TGIF! hope you had a great birthday!

  20. Being mindful can be tough when there’s a lot in your plate! It normally helps if you’re following a schedule so that you don’t have a lot of things running through your mind. This is a good reminder, thanks for this post!

  21. Adult ADD and stressed due to work (busy time of the year) and multi tasker. So I am trying to learn to do one thing (well) at a time!

  22. I struggle so much with being in the moment! I have a hard time disconnecting the computer and phone and being there-thanks for this reminder!

  23. Yep! I can totally connect with this post! I am ALWAYS thinking about something in the future that I have to do that I don’t want to do , and dreading it, and therefore ruining my current moment.

  24. I love this post, as I am always trying to keep this in the forefront of my thoughts. But not tooooo in the forefront. Dont want to overthink. But – so important to be present.
    Karen

  25. Only practicing it as a reaction to being upset is a good one that I can definitely relate to. I need to work the mindfulness muscle even when I don’t need to be doing it.

  26. GREAT post! I think a lot of people have the wrong idea about mindfulness and think it’s hard to get to some big zen moment. It’s way more simple than that!

  27. This is such a helpful article for someone like myself. I have a million thoughts at once and hard time executing any of them. Mindfulness is something I really want to learn and need to practice. I want to be present and enjoy every moment instead of thinking of the next thing I have to do. Thank you for this great insight and tips.

  28. Amazing tips! I found mindfulness so hard most of my life, but so happy I understand now

  29. Hi Jill! I feel like you wrote this for me. It’s exactly everything I’ve been feeling and trying to overcome lately. It’s so hard to see the forest beyond the trees sometimes. Thank you for your wise words.

  30. I definitely struggle with mindfulness. But you are right in the more focused and busy we get sometimes we actually feel less stressed. It takes practice, but I work on it every day. Have a lovely weekend, friend!

  31. I need this! Coming from someone who wears a “Just Breathe” bracelet because she needs to be reminded to slow down and focus. Great post Jill.

  32. I definitely struggle with this often. I get so wrapped up in the big picture of what all is going on that I often forget about what I am actually doing or in the middle of focusing on. I love the idea of working on this with someone!

  33. Such good reminders. I think like all of us, I have days I’m better and worse at this. Linked up an awesome yoga giveaway I have on my site right now if you want to share with your audience or any of your yoga friends!

  34. I do struggle with this but I’m continuing to work on it. I think like anything else, it’s going to take some practice!

  35. Really great advice, Jill! Sometimes I do find mindfulness to be challenging and I’ll get discouraged. I think it’s important to be patient as you’re practicing something new!

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