• Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say that 85 percent of what we worry about never happens.
• “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom
• Worrying does not take away tomorrow's trouble, it takes away today's peace."
• "Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere." ~ Van Wilder
At any rate, this post isn't about the foibles and futility of worry. It's about some ways to cure it by practicing the art of mindfulness and living in the present.
On that worry-racked Sunday, my husband and I took a short drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway, chose a trail and headed into the woods. It's amazing how fresh air, the crunch of dried leaves and the sound of trickling water can sooth your soul. An hour or so later as we returned to the car, I was relaxed and my mind was at ease.
A little time in the woods may not cure all of life's ills, but it can definitely help you put things in perspective and stay in the present. Here are a few more suggestions to practice mindfulness in your life:
• Practice yoga (it's hard to think about anything else while trying to maintain tree pose)
• Meditate (even 10 minutes a day offers great benefits)
• Play your favorite music (loud is even better)
• Get lost in a good book
• Go for a drive (with your favorite music playing)
• Practice hobbies you enjoy (knit, sew, write, photograph, play guitar, cook).
I find myself most mindful when I'm creating. Whether I'm photographing, writing or redesigning my website, I get lost in the moment. The challenge is to maintain that mindset — even when you aren't focused intently on a hobby or other activity. Some activities, by their very nature, demand more of our attention, but I find that the more I'm able to concentrate on a task for a short period of time, the easier it is to stretch those mindful periods so that they encompass more of my day. And the easier it is to be mindful during mundane activities like eating or washing dishes.
Give it a try! Choose a task and focus on it. Try a few mindful activities and let me know what works for you!
How do you relax and stay mindful? Do you practice regular habits that help you stay in the present? I'm always eager to hear your thoughts and observations.