HomeHarry L. Mills, Ph.D.Joyce R. Mills, M.S.StressWellscriptsMindfulnessSelf-regulationHumorPurposeWisdom

OPTIMUMS IN MINDFULNESS

We spend much of our lives on automatic pilot.  Too many Americans live in the past and worry about the future.  They lose their awareness of now.  Life passes them by. They must regain awareness and cultivate the capacity to live in "now" if they are to be mentally healthy.  They need to cultivate mindfulness



images3333.jpgWe all spend at least part of our time being mindful which means focusing on exactly what's happening now in our lives.  However we also spent a good part of our mental life regretting the past and anticipating the future with some anxiety.  People who have been through stressful events, acute illnesses, surgery and other health-related trauma can spend too much time reliving those from and ruminating about a future that remains ambiguous at best.   


Psychologists have discovered a state of mind which is come to be called flow when we are fully connected with what we're doing not thinking about the past or worrying about the future.  There is an active way to attain that state of mind and there is a more passive way through what is called meditation.  Those are two pathways to the same restorative experiences.  Many creative activities such as painting can lead the mindful/flow experience.  We can tell when we been in flow of effectively lose track of time and totally concentrate on what we do.  Games, including checkers, chess or card games can lead to the same kind of experience. The key seems to be that whenever we're doing must be within our skill range but we need to stretch a bit to attaining a goal.  Rhythmic activity like walking can also lead the mindful experience if one focuses on a card experience related to walking like breathing or changes in muscle activity with each step.  Any activity requiring concentration can be a door to the flow and mindful attentiveness.  There are also many activities that would be considered pure play that can lead to the same kind of experience.    



For more on Mindfulness go to Wellscripts.

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