Do any of these apply to you?
- you often feel distracted, and you know you could be more productive if you could just concentrate better!
- you’re anxious a lot (maybe sometimes you can’t fall asleep at night because your mind just won’t “turn off!”)
- you’re sometimes in a funky bad mood all day, and you don’t really know why
- you frequently feel overwhelmed by the demands of your day — so much seems to be happening at once!
- you often say or do things you regret later because it’s hard to get a handle on your anger or frustration
- you sometimes worry about something really wonderful eventually coming to an end, and the worry prevents you from enjoying it as much as you could
- you feel like you spend a lot of your time on auto-pilot, and want to live with more intention and purpose
If you answered YES to any of these, congratulations — you’re human!
The worry, the distraction, the overwhelm — they are all part of
the human condition.
But there’s another side to being human, too…
Do any of these apply to you?
- you sometimes are so focused on an activity (cooking dinner, or playing a sport, or sitting on a bench with your sweetie) that you enter “the zone” — a state of deep focus and concentration — and things feel pretty amazing!
- you’ve had experiences where everything felt really vivid and rich — your senses were bright and clear — and wow, are those times amazing!
- you’ve noticed that sometimes you just stop resisting whatever is bothering you, and you enter a state of “non-fighting” — and feel an amazing sense of peace and calm!
You’ve likely said YES again — congratulations! You are human!
Shinzen Young describes mindfulness as a combination of three attentional skills — concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity (non-fighting). You’ve experienced all of those in some form before, and have probably discovered that they make life … well, a bit more amazing.
Young writes that, with training, “you can develop the ability to get into [these states] anytime you want.”
And, you’ve likely experienced the opposite of those states — distraction, sensory overwhelm, and attempts to desperately escape from, or frantically cling to, the present moment. And that makes life … a bit harder.
But with training, Young also tells us we can avoid those states and the problems they cause.
We can learn to do this by practicing mindfulness.
Want to learn a bit more about mindfulness?
- How Mindfulness Changes Your Life
- Why I Wake Up at 4:45am to Meditate Every Day
- 5 Meditation Tips for People Who Don’t (Yet) Like to Meditate
- The Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
- What are we Practicing?
- Is Mindfulness a Religion?
Latest posts by Sarah Rudell Beach (see all)
- The Problem with Stock Photos of People Meditating - July 24, 2017
- 20 Quotes About Mindfulness for People Who Struggle With Being Mindful - July 17, 2017
- The Five Best Times of the Day for Mothers to Meditate - July 10, 2017