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From the moment we come into the world, the here and now or the present moment is the only thing we have. We can certainly learn from the past, but we cannot relive it. We may hope for a future, but we’re not sure there is one. Yet most of us don’t live in the present. We tend to think about the future, worrying all the time or dwelling on the past without realizing it. This happens because we are completely identified with the narrative voice of our mind which comments, judges, continuously interprets everything that happens outside and inside us. With this I absolutely do not want to demonize the mind, which is indeed an exceptional tool because it allows us to be highly evolved on a cognitive level, to carry out work and practical matters and much more. If it weren’t for the mind for example you couldn’t even read this article nor could I write it. But the mind must remain a tool, nothing more. The moment we let the mind take over and identify with our thoughts, being sucked into them for as long as we have on this earth, then we have become their instrument and all this makes us more miserable than we are. realizes and more exposed to stress and psychological problems, with all the physical and mental consequences that can arise from life.
The here and now holds the key to liberation, but you cannot recognize it until you identify yourself with the mind. mindfulness is to rise above thought by becoming the observer, the impartial witness of the present moment. This is the power of the here and now.
The mind’s ability to observe and understand itself is called meta-cognition. According to Western psychology, it is precisely the metacognitive ability that develops through the constant practice of meditation that makes it a useful technique for getting out of unconscious automatisms and reducing states of tension, stress and suffering. In the metacognitive state, one continues to use the thinking mind as needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before. It is mostly used for practical purposes, but one is freed from involuntary self-talk and there is inner stillness. In this article, I delve into this topic and suggest how to live fully in the here and now:
MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION: WHAT DIFFERENCES AND HOW ARE THEY PRACTICED
Here are some simple tricks to stay in the here and now without judging:
1 – WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESENT MOMENT?
In the state of presence there are no problems, both internal and external events simply happen. The very definition of a problem is an abstract concept of the mind, a simple thought. More often than not, labeling a certain situation as a problem has negative repercussions on attitude and only limits our options for action. As we have already described above, the mind lives in the past or future and does not know the present moment, but sees it as a means to an end, or an obstacle to overcome or worse yet an enemy. Make a habit of observing the content of your thoughts several times throughout the day asking yourself, what is my relationship to the present moment? The decision to be friends with the present moment is the end of your ego or unconscious thought and the birth of awareness and the power of the here and now.
2 – NEVER WAIT!
We humans have a habit that no other living thing has: waiting. We queue at a supermarket checkout, queue at traffic lights, wait for the bus to pass, etc. Over time we are absorbed by thoughts that transform into a psychological, illusory time, which is why waiting is equivalent to saying no to the present moment. Recognizing this mental attitude when it manifests itself and returning to being in the present through the body and the senses, i.e. observing, listening and perceiving with curiosity starting from one’s breath up to the surrounding environment is equivalent to being in the present and welcome this moment with a big yes!
3 – CHANGE THE HABIT OF BEING YOURSELF
It has been studied that the human mind produces an average of 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. 90% of the thoughts we have during a day are the same as the day before. And again the previous one. We endlessly recycle the same thought patterns to the point that they become inert matter from which something new can hardly emerge. Not only. Due to a certain predilection of the mind to go fishing in the rot, most of these thoughts are “negative” in nature. In translating what you observe into thoughts, reality is impoverished and distorted by unconscious filters. The illusory and artificial experiences created in the mind can never match the fullness and richness of the real world around you. You cannot always be a slave to the same thought patterns and expect your reality to change. Remember that what you focus your awareness on becomes your reality. If you practice living in the present and no longer being a slave to the ego, this will have a major impact on your emotional well-being but it can also have an effect on your physical health. In fact, practicing a non-judgmental presence has countless benefits: it reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, reduces chronic pain, lowers blood pressure and helps patients deal with serious illnesses. Aware people are happier and have healthier self-esteem.
4 – LISTEN TO YOURSELF, LISTEN TO THE OTHER – HERE AND NOW IN LOVE
When it comes to relationships, you need to keep in mind both listening to the other and listening to yourself. This last aspect is often underestimated. An example can help our understanding. When we speak we emit a sound that reaches our interlocutor. It is certainly important for us that the listener is attentive. Yet I ask myself: do we listen to our sound while speaking or do we let the voice come out without paying attention to its characteristics (volume, timbre, presence, sustain, etc.)? If we start listening to each other while we communicate, we can change the quality of our relationship because this doesn’t depend exclusively on the interlocutor, but also and above all on how capable we are of making the message understandable to the other. Mindful people can listen to negative feedback without feeling threatened, argue less with their partner, and are more accommodating and less defensive. As a result, conscious couples have more fulfilling relationships.