In today’s fast-paced busy society, we are all encouraged to multitask or to do many different things at once. But there is something to be said for doing one thing at a time. When we do one thing at a time, we are able to be more present with each activity. We are able to devote all of our energy to the activity at hand.
So how do you practice doing one thing at a time in this world that encourages you to multitask at every opportunity? Think about how much multitasking you do every day. Think about all of the times you are thinking about the next thing you are supposed to do instead of the thing you are doing, think about all of the times you are jumping between browsers on your computer, think about all of the times you check your phone throughout the day, or think about all of the activities you are taking for granted.
So how do you go about changing this? Well, we have a few tips for you.
1. Upon beginning an activity, use your full attention. You might want to remind yourself to “just wash the clothes” or “just drink your coffee”. You want to set an intention with every activity to just do that one thing.
2. Be fully engaged and aware of the activity. You might want to try to pay attention to the one activity with your whole body. If you are listening to music, try to listen with your entire body. If you are drinking tea, try to taste it with your toes.
3. Do not judge yourself if your mind wanders. If you start to think about other things or if you feel your attention being pulled elsewhere, make sure you are able to just notice and gently pull your attention back to the task at hand. Don’t judge yourself or resist.
4. Engage with everything as if it were your first or last time. Are you drinking coffee? Imagine you will never be able to drink coffee again. Are you washing dishes? Imagine this is the first time you have been able to wash a dish.
There are many ways to become more mindful and present with each task. For more tips on mindfulness, have a look at our blog post about being more present.
When it comes to being more present, there are a lot of really great benefits. One of my favorite things about being more present is that I don’t miss out on the beautiful joys of day-to-day life. So how can we become more present with our daily lives? It can be really complicated, especially in today’s world of rush hour, Facebook, cat videos, Dancing With the Stars, rushing through dinner, going to bed, and getting up to do it all over again. Here are a few tips that will help you to stay more present in your life:
1. Have More Purposeful Intention with Each Activity. Before you do anything–check your e-mail, make dinner, drive to work–think about what your intentions are for that particular activity. Think about what you hope to gain out of that activity. Try to think of it as not just a means to an end, but try to really pay attention to the act of getting to where you want to be. If you set an intention, it will help you to be more mindful and present with each activity.
2. Create a Daily Practice. Even if you start each day with two minutes of meditation, writing in your journal, or going for a short walk around your neighborhood, it will help you to start each day with an intention of being more mindful. The key is to make this a daily practice that you remember to do each day. So you want to start small enough that it will be something you will be able to do each day.
3. Use Mindfulness Bells or Chimes. Have a chime sound on your phone or your computer that goes off every hour or so and reminds you to be more present. It can also be helpful if you take other things and use them as mindfulness bells. For example, every time you get a new e-mail, you can remember to be more present.
4. Have a Mindfulness Partner. You will be more likely to be present and mindful if there is someone you can talk to about mindfulness or presence, whether it’s a co-worker, a friend, or a significant other. You can send each other messages throughout the day that remind you to be present.
There are many ways to incorporate more mindfulness or presence throughout your day. The key is to start using as many of these as possible each day so that you can become more present in your own life.
“Be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” – Romans 12:2
When it comes to alcoholics or addicts who are in the process of beginning their path to recovery, one thing that is absolutely essential is that the addict or alcoholic be able to renew his or her mind and change the way that he or she thinks. The best way to do this is to allow Spirit (or Jesus or God or Buddha or Love… whatever you want to call It) to change your thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you can do this in place of a rehabilitation program. You should definitely find a rehab that works for you like The Recovery Village. And after completing that program, you should pursue a 12-step program like Alcoholic Anonymous or another type of recovery program that will work for you like Smart Recovery or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. However, once you are on that track, it’s absolutely essential that you focus on the renewing of your mind.
So how can we go about this? Well, we have a few tips for you.
1. Go to a Spiritual Center that Works for You. Try visiting different churches or spiritual meetings in your area. You may find that you really connect with Buddhists. You may find that you really feel the Spirit when you visit a Methodist church. The point is that everyone has a spiritual experience that works best for them. Make sure you are open minded so that you can find the best spiritual environment for you.
2. Surround Yourself with Positive People. You don’t want to hang around the people you used to hang around at the bar. Hang out with positive people who will uplift you and inspire you and encourage you to be involved with positive activities. Try going to various meetups or getting involved in different ministries at your church.
3. Read Positive Literature. There are a ton of really great books that are available to you. Try The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle or any Wayne Dyer book. Try Marianne Williamson. Try reading The Bible. There are a million books that are likely to make you feel good about yourself. Go to the library and ask for recommendations.
There are a ton of different ways to incorporate more positivity and love into your daily life. Whenever you are beginning your road to recovery, you definitely want to make sure that you are taking advantage of all of them.