Why Be Mindful?

Although it sounds pleasant enough, how can paying attention to the present moment help make you feel better? The present moment contains your feelings. If you are feeling bad, you are feeling bad in the present moment. Paying attention to that feeling will give you a sense of separation from the feeling. When you are able to focus on feeling the feeling, you slow down the unconscious thoughts that are feeding the feeling, making room for new thoughts that will help the feeling pass.

It is a normal habit to gravitate toward pleasure and avoid pain. This habit gets in the way of understanding our more painful experiences. When we feel pain we shut down. With a mindfulness practice we challenge ourselves to remain present through all of our experiences and we become familiar with the natural ups and downs of our moods.

Although being mindful will not just turn a sad situation into a delightful one, it will give you the ability to handle a sad situation when one arises. It can also help you relate to others who find themselves in difficult circumstances, because you understand the feelings and they are no longer threatening to you.

Paying attention to the present moment won’t always make you feel good, but it will make you feel better.

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