True benefits of focusing on now

True benefits of focusing on now

Mindful of the present
Mindfulness is the awareness of your surroundings and own emotional state. Mindfulness is the opposite of being on autopilot. A lot of people talk about mindfulness and there are apps, colouring books and videos to help us achieve a mindful state of being. However, what are the true benefits of focusing on the here and now?

Enjoying the moment: sometimes, as adults, we spend so long planning an exciting or relaxing activity or holiday and then struggle to be emotionally present when it arrives. Many people struggle to enjoy the moment and that can lead to a sense of never feeling relaxed or of missing out on enjoyable moments. Children are generally much better at staying in the moment and adults can learn from their playful attitude.

Improved mental wellbeing: mindfulness has been shown to help people manage stress, anxiety and increase their mood and enjoyment in life. Being more aware of our own feelings can help us to process them and respond in line with our wishes.

Increased effectiveness and productivity: although we often operate on autopilot; completing multiple tasks at once as quickly as we can, research suggests that multi-tasking is actually bad for productivity. Generally, people are more productive and efficient if they are able to focus on one task at a time. Try to focus on the present and observe how quickly you meet your goals.

Increased relaxation: although mindfulness exercises are not designed to lead to relaxation, many people who engage in mindful activities such as yoga do find themselves feeling more relaxed. When you focus on the here and now, worries about the past or the future are not present in your mind.

Joining head and heart: when you are present and focused on the here and now you are able to observe what is going on in your mind, with your emotions and in your body. You are more likely to notice quieter rational thoughts that are often overwhelmed by strong emotions, or alternatively the small emotion that is overwhelmed by concrete thinking.

Tasks and goal achievement: when trying to complete a hard task or change a behaviour it can seem overwhelming, however, by focusing purely on what you need to do right now you can break it down into manageable and achievable parts. This can apply to weight management, new exercise routines, addictions and learning new skills.

Being true to yourself: when you focus on the present moment you are less likely to worry, be critical of yourself or act in a way that isn’t truly what you want. This can lead to an improved sense of self and a sense that you are behaving in line with your own beliefs and wishes.

A therapist may suggest mindfulness exercises to help you to overcome struggles and mental health difficulties. If you would like to talk to someone about your current experiences please phone Dr Julie Hannan on 07530854530.