“Mindfulness is the energy of attention. It is the capacity in each of us to be present one hundred percent to what is happening within and around us. It is the miracle that allows us to become fully alive in each moment.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Being fully present is a challenge in this technology-based decade. My generation in particular, generation Y as people like to call us, having grown up during the cusp of technology, is especially good at multi-tasking. We can text while driving (not that I do this), facebook while in class (not that I EVER did this either), tweet while talking to you, and watch TV while we work on a project.
We may be good at many things – according to Wikipedia (and yes, I’m using wikipedia in this blog post – bad college grad!), generation Y has been called “civic-minded” and thought to possibly posses a “strong sense of community both locally and globally” and may be “optimistic, engaged, and team players” – however, despite these optimistic claims, we suck at one thing in particular.
One of the things that has been lost in this generation and time, is mindfulness.
We’re always texting, tweeting, facebooking while our body is somewhere else. Our minds are always wandering. We can’t focus on the task at hand, without doing something else at the same time.
So what’s the problem with this?
The problem is: We’re stressed out. Our minds fly 10 miles a minute. We miss the simple things. We’re constantly in overdrive. And we’re never truly focused on the present. We can’t sit still. What a shame that is, because our happiness is probably decreasing because of it.
According to Thich Nhat Hanh, “the practice of mindfulness requires that whatever you do, you do with your whole being…We need the energy of mindfulness to help us come back to ourselves and look deeply into our situation.” With our energy so dispersed, how can we ever be present in our own bodies? Solve our problems rationally? How will we ever see things as they are? And for God’s sake…slow the f*** down?!
I think there’s some work to be done (see below).
Quick and Easy Mindfulness Exercises for Even the Busiest of Us
In his book The Art of Power, Thich Nhat Hanh outlines some simple exercises that are worth mention here.
- Focus on your breath. As you breathe in, silently think “in” and think “out” when you breathe out.
- Walking outside: take one step for every breath. Feel free to think “in out” as you walk.
What do you other generation Yers do to practice mindfulness?