Mindfulness and the Psychologist

Those of you who know me know I try to practice and encourage Mindfulness, the exercise of allowing ourselves to fully be in the moment. A Thich Nhat Hanh book for the novice lead me to the joy of embracing those everyday tasks that make up so much of life, like cooking dinner or washing the dishes.

"Wherever we are we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other and the wonder of our breathing."  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

It's a good thing mindfulness practice is forgiving because I am a miserably imperfect practitioner. Especially challenging is when I have feelings that are uncomfortable, like jealousy or anger, or have thoughts that cause me anxiety, like how will we care for my husband's elderly parents who live far away. Staying with the feeling is not as natural for me as running away from it.

Mantras help me stay anchored. Like prayer sound bites, a well chosen mantra reminds me of what's important. Lately I've been using, "No fear. Action!" to get through financial worries during these recessionary times. Another one that helps me when I get weird with jealousy over what the Joneses have that I don't is: "Appreciate." Just that simple word reminds me of the many blessings I've received and those I'm fortunate enough to share.

Here are a more tips for living in the moment found on the World of Psychology Blog.


  • Gerred Howe

    Staying the present is very hard. It seems most of us are either regretting something in the past or anticipating what is to come and we aren’t able to focus on the here and now. I know I struggle very much with the task at hand. It’s not so much that I don’t “like” where I am, but I often find myself day dreaming about what could be rather than enjoying what is.

  • I’m in the moment as I write this! How awesome!

  • Hi, Gerred! I know what you mean. There’s a trick I use to help me coax my thinking to the present. When it occurs to me I focus on my five senses. I caught myself rushing through emptying the dishwasher today. I took a deep breath and smelled the clean scent of soap, felt the smooth surface of the dishes heard the clink of the glasses…it made a brain numbing task a lot easier. But I’ve got to say, I enjoy a good day dream, too.

  • Steve! You are so zen. Namaste, yo’!

  • Lately, modern day pressures almost seem to mount by the day if not by the hour. I sure hope I am not alone feeling like this – I reckon not from this piece. It is indeed nice to have some few moments to get in touch with oneself and the world around us in an “anchored” fashion and take a break from being blown every which way like a leaf in the winds of fortune. I find too little opportunity to do that. Thanks for the encouragement to find such moments in the many little hidden opportunities we have for that in everyday life.


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