Practicing mindfulness

Following up on yesterday’s post, which was really a repost from October 2019, I wanted to add a few things. I chose to repost this blog entry because it still felt perfectly timely. Yesterday in particular I felt this restlessness, haunted by too many thoughts and still going after the next distraction.

But I also realised, it is no longer as bad as it had been when I first wrote that post. I am much more mindful now and I catch myself when I seek distraction after distraction. I know better why that may be the case, which differs depending on the situation.

I can stop myself. Not always, but a lot more than I used to.

I listen to myself very closely. Why am I feeling a certain way? How can I change how I feel – especially when I gripped by negative emotions?

The pandemic has done a number on all of us. But it has given us also a lot of time to touch base with ourselves. Well, perhaps not all of us, but many of us were given more time than we knew what to do with and a lot fewer distractions – at least outside of our own homes.

Given that I live alone and have only a small circle of friends, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time by myself. Admittedly, much more than I would have preferred. And whilst it hasn’t always been easy, I am privileged in many ways and don’t feel a need to complain.

Instead, I am trying to do the best I can. This includes to not just chase distractions and to learn about new things (even if I have felt no inclination to obtain new skills). I’ve delved into my psyche, learnt to understand myself much better than I have in the past and I’ve been practicing mindfulness whenever possible.

Being alone so much has been a struggle, though, so I have given myself permission to indulge in mindless distractions. We might be stuck at home, but our minds need not be stuck as well.

I am more aware now when I am seeking distractions and why. And I am certainly much more present in the moment. Where else should I be if I have no opportunity to make plans for tomorrow, let alone next week?

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