The Skill to “Just Be”September 8, 2020
Our society is one of “doing.” The to-do lists, the multi-tasking, the overlapping hours of work and life, is so prevalent that it can be a huge challenge to stop doing and “just be.”
If you’re like the average person, you are distracted 47% of the time! This finding comes from a paper, “A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind” by Harvard Researchers who found that people are actually less happy when distracted, even if they were distracting themselves from something unpleasant. So distraction is not a good thing and in fact does not support our well-being. Yet, it’s highly common – we’re distracted almost half the time. If you can reclaim that time you could be fully listening to what your loved ones are saying, reading and completely taking in a great book, or driving home while giving all of your attention to the road.
What we’re talking about here is cultivating awareness, which is the first pillar in our four-part framework for a healthy mind within the Healthy Minds Program App and our Healthy Minds @Work Development Program. Awareness is about being fully connected to our present experience, so eating dinner means eating dinner – not reading your phone while eating dinner.
Recently, Healthy Minds Innovations Trainer and Program Specialist, Stephanie Wagner led a meditation on our YouTube channel on this topic. In the following practice, you can practice tuning in and out of the present, and give yourself the ultimate act of kindness – a moment to “Just Be.”
Now that you’ve had some practice, take this skill with you for the rest of the day. Notice when your mind is wandering, or when you’re already on the next task while still completing this one. Then, take a breath, notice your surroundings, stop doing, and bring yourself back to the moment. Do this a little bit each day and you can train your mind to be more fully present and aware.
Stop doing, and start being.