The LifeUp Mindfulness Challenge: Day 18
Watch your attention – Watch out for your attention wandering!
FLOW: Focus, Listen, Observe, Watch
W is for WATCH your attention
By continually watching our attention during everyday activities and refocusing it when it wanders, we can ensure we stay in the moment, in the 'flow', connected to life’s fullest experience.
This leads to a much richer, deeper, more discernable experience of life; we are able to feel the wonder and awe in the everyday and live life in high-definition colour.
Staying in present moment awareness is an active choice that needs to be made again and again until it becomes habit. By continually checking where your attention is, and refocusing it when necessary, you can pay full attention and stay 'in the flow'. With practice this can become an unconscious habit.
Use everyday, frequent, repetitive situations as triggers to ask yourself, “Where is my attention right now?” Going, doing, making, walking somewhere? Phone ringing? Taking a car journey? Making a cup of tea? As often as possible, check in and ask yourself, “Where’s my attention?”
Waiting at traffic lights, washing your hands, waiting for the lift, a bus, a friend, or in a shop queue. Harness these situations to prompt you to step through the FLOW process and get back 'in the flow'.
Practise ‘taking notice’.
- Take the time for a conscious breath.
- For five seconds, one by one, notice all the sounds you can hear around you and in the distance.
- For the next five seconds as you continue to notice what you can hear, be aware that you’re noticing.
- Now, for the next five seconds, look around and notice what you can see.
- For the next five seconds, as you continue to notice what you can see, be aware that you’re noticing.
- Now, for the last five seconds, put your attention in your feet.
Did you do the activity? Congratulations, time to give yourself a ‘mini high five’!
Going, doing, making, walking somewhere? Phone ringing? Taking a car journey? Making a cup of tea? As often as possible, check in and ask yourself, “Where’s my attention?” Start with something you do frequently, for example use washing your hands, or waiting for a bus as a trigger.
Congratulations you have now completed the third pillar 'Pay Attention' where you practised the FLOW technique to help you consciously choose to place your attention on things that really matter to you and get in the 'flow'.
Next up, starting tomorrow, is the fourth and final pillar 'Action through Values' where you'll practise the ACT technique to connect with your values and act with integrity and purpose in any given situation.