Coming To The Moment To Forget Your Problems

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In mindfulness trainings and yoga classes you’ll often hear instructors ask you to try to come into the moment as much as possible, leaving all the accumulated stresses and worries behind for that short period of time. They might say something clever like “Don’t worry, all that stress will be right there waiting for you when the session is over.”

Being told to forget your problems might seem like bad advice on the surface but you can think of it as similar to taking a few breaks at work every day. If you were to attempt to work straight through the day you’d probably find yourself on edge, coming apart at the seams before long, especially if you kept the routine up over weeks and months. We all need breaks, times where our brains can just relax and recharge, but the problem is that the typical break at work doesn’t necessarily help you recharge much at all because you’re still keeping your brain distracted, making all those neurons fire as you chat with colleagues, watch television, go get a coffee, or do whatever it is you like to do during that free time.

Ideally we’d be in state of mindfulness all the time, fully engaged in the present moment regardless of the activity. But that’s more of a goal towards which to aspire than it is a reality for most of us, which makes carving out time every day where we consciously work on the practice that much more important.

Don’t think of coming to the moment to forget your problems as a cheap parlor trick. Most of our problems mount up precisely we don’t know how to live in the present to begin with, plus whether you tackle your problems right now or in an hour probably makes little difference in the grand scheme of your life. It’s okay to put these worries on the backburner and just mindfully focus on your breathing every day for a little while.