Have you ever been driving, arrived at your destination, and noticed that you don’t remember the entire drive? Or started eating a pint of ice cream and then you suddenly realize you ate it all? Or felt anxious or tense or nauseous even when nothing obvious caused it?
This is “mindlessness” – essentially drifting outside your body and away from your immediate surroundings.
When we behave through habit, which can easily be most of our day, our minds wander and we aren’t present with our lives. Add to that all our gadgets that keep us connected (rather, disconnected from ourselves) 24/7, and we discover that “now” - the most important time - is ignored.
We can also become vulnerable to
harmful physical and psychological conditions, such as sleepiness, insomnia, anxiety, stress, depression, enhanced physical pain, and more - which may be experienced at abnormally heightened levels.
Mindfulness practice is a way of learning to be more present and having emotional responses more proportionate with the stimuli, leading to healthier, more loving, and more compassionate relationships with ourselves and those around us.
Intention training is a critical element of mindfulness practice. Having concrete, manageable, yet challenging intentions - that are properly tempered so they do not overwhelm - help lead to visible and identifiable significant positive changes in our lives.