In the book “The Power of Full Engagement”, by John Gottman, he discusses what is a mindful minute. Minutes in the midst of our busy day are often forgotten or ignored, but they are incredibly important. They are often referred to as the “silent minutes.” A mindful minute is one in which you are fully present with what is around you in the moment. For example, you might notice that there are several people at a party, but you are only focused on the conversation.
You might find yourself taking deep breaths, as if trying to get the air out of your lungs. You are aware of every little breath that you take, yet your attention is not drawn to anything. This is a common mistake. If you are focused on the conversation you are having, you could be saying to yourself, “There are so many people at this party, and yet I’m not paying attention to them.” A true mindful minute is one in which you pay attention to those around you, to the environment in which you are in, and to the feelings and emotions that you are feeling.
John Gottman has described what is a mindful minute this way: ” mindfulness is letting go of the need to control everything, even to notice that it’s happening. mindfulness is seeing the flow of breathing, and accepting it for what it is.” You can use this same technique when learning how to meditate. Try taking slow, relaxed breaths, allowing your mind to wander, and focusing on nothing at all.
Breathing practices have been used for thousands of years, to relax the body and mind, and for mental and emotional healing. When you focus your attention on something you are deeply connected with, you are more likely to create an environment that promotes healing. A common element of Buddhist meditation is focusing on the breath. While it may seem like a very mundane subject, it can be used to create a much deeper state of relaxation, peace, and wisdom.
While this may sound like a foreign concept to you, anyone who has ever meditated for any length of time knows that focusing on the breath, or any other activity, can become an important part of a mindful moment. It is not uncommon to hear monks focus on their breathing in order to deepen their meditative experience. While you may not have been raised to focus on your breathing while meditating, chances are good that you have taken some form of breathing practice during your daily life.
If you know how to focus on your breath during a mindful moment, you can use that same skill to focus your attention on others. An excellent way to do this is to practice asking, “What is a mindful moment?” anytime you find yourself in a stressful situation. Asking the question can often provide you with insight into the underlying source of the problem. In many cases, it will provide the solution you need to find a solution.
Another tip for finding the source of a stressful situation and then using the information to find a solution is to ask, “What is a mindful moment?” while you are in a situation that is causing you stress. For example, if you are driving, you might try to think about how many thoughts are racing through your mind as you drive. Think about those thoughts for a few seconds, then try to redirect those thoughts onto something else, like a phone call. As you repeat this exercise, you will find that the stress of the moment is easily dispelled and you find yourself able to redirect your attention back to driving.
So what is a mindful moment? It is simply any moment when you are in control and in balance. It doesn’t have to involve any meditation, as long as you are aware of what is going on in your body and how your thoughts are running. And once you find a way to be mindful, you’ll find that you are able to take on more tasks, focus better, have less tension, and even be happier overall!