How to live more consciously?
In today's existence, with so many means and sources of distraction that invite us to focus on the other and not on ourselves, living consciously is increasingly difficult. Our interior, it seems, attracts us less.
And why should we care to live consciously? Why do we need to explore our own experiences? This is not just about the self, but about be fully aware of the moment and the circumstance in which we live.
Delving into these answers is part of what we will address in this article, in which we will learn what it means to live consciously, what prevents us from doing so, and what we can do to achieve it.
What does it mean to live consciously
Living consciously is knowing what you are, who you are, your place in the world and with respect to the other people around you. Remember your responsibilities, your qualities, your virtues; also recognize your negative side.
This brings us back a bit to the concept of dasein, by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Dasein it is ‘being in the world’, being located in it in a dynamic way, experiencing and experiencing. In short, it is a relationship with oneself.
On the other hand, remembering the great Spanish thinker José Ortega y Gasset, conscious living has to do with us and our circumstances, since what we are depends as much on the person himself, as on the culture and the time.
Keep reading: Learning to live, that's what it's all about
What prevents us from living consciously in the present?
In addition to the distractions of everyday life, overwork and activities, there are certain attitudes that affect us and they are signs that we are not consciously living in the present moment.
Some of them are the following:
- Resentment: Resentment is a negative emotion about a bitter memory, for an affront or injury that we believe we have received undeservedly. It is related to resentment and sadness.
- Fear and anxiety: We are afraid of danger, of dying, of getting sick, that something bad will happen to our children. Being prey to fear we stop living fully. Both fear and anxiety produce feelings of anguish, insecurity, and uncertainty about the future.
- Excess self-love: A certain amount of self-love is positive, but not excessively. The exaggerated ego prevents us from connecting with the world and with people.
- Evasion: being aware of who we are implies accepting our reality. Escaping into the past, into seemingly more pleasing moments, or into an idealized future may provide temporary relief, but it is not the solution.
- Distraction: Living fully is only possible if you pay attention to yourself, your circumstance and your present moment.
- Boredom: If you are bored by what you do and have in front of you, it is because perhaps you wish you were doing something else right now. But if you are always bored, it is a bad sign.
Do not stop reading: What is self-realization and how can it be achieved?
Tips for living more consciously
Although we assume that living consciously in the present is necessary, not all of us know how to focus more on the here and now. We have to train the mind to experience each experience. We have to relearn what we have unlearned.
With meditation, conscious living begins. When we meditate we don't do anything other than be there, in the present moment, living in the moment.
Evidence has been found that meditation has beneficial biopsychosocial effects in different areas of human life, both in relation to emotional states and in cognitive processes and general health. It even influences the symptoms of chronic diseases.
Thus, developing the practice of meditation as a habit helps us to live consciously and to stop thinking with anguish about what will come or with resentment about what has already happened.
2. Yoga and exercises
Yoga is not only a series of stretching exercises for the benefit of the body. Above all, the connection between mind and physical is worked.
In fact, in various investigations it is mentioned that physical activity and yoga are stress-reducing agents and promoters of a better quality of life, in relation to the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual aspects.
3. Abandon judgments and expectations
Setting expectations leads us not to accept. Similarly, this belief that things should be different exhausts us and prevents us from seeing what is around us.
Of course, we can change for the better and try to improve. It is s that accepting does not mean agreeing with everything as it is, but putting aside the attitude of denial and the eternal battle against the world.
On the other hand, the judgments we make about ourselves or the fear of the judgments of others separate us from our reality, creating a distorted idea of what we expect or expect from us.
4. Avoid negative emotions
An attitude of trust in the present is to live consciously. But be confident in the present involves letting go of fear, anguish and anxiety.
The same goes for anger, rage, and resentment. They chain us to negative moments, preventing us from seeing that there is something else.
5. Practice acceptance and gratitude
Our life may not seem perfect, but no one said it had to be. There are moments or events that we find unpleasant.
And yet for every fact that we dislike, there is another that compensates for it. If we notice the first and not the second, it is because we think more than necessary about the bad.
We cannot live from joy to joy alone, but neither do we live from sadness to sadness. The French writer Albert Camus once said that you cannot be permanently happy or permanently miserable.
On the other hand, when we give thanks, we see what we have and forget what we lack. This is precisely the essence of conscious living.
Mindfulness or mindfulness is related to the fact be in touch with the reality of the present moment, in full awareness of what is being done, without thinking or wishing otherwise. Living consciously and mindfully are as inseparable as the sides of a coin.
Research shows that mindfulness is effective in treating stress and other psychological problems, to the point that it has already been introduced in various psychotherapy programs.
Developing mindfulness is something we can achieve through practice, avoiding everything that distracts our mind from what we do and making an effort to stay focused on a single task.
There are various activities that help us to learn the difficult, but necessary, art of mindfulness and conscious living. Among these we have the following:
- Listen to soft music.
- Draw or paint.
- Play chess.
- Walk through the field.
The benefits of conscious living in the present
If we do not live our share, we will not obtain knowledge that each experience entails. Learning will be null and we will be chained to repeat mistakes.
When we go consciously through life we are more open to knowing, to learning about what surrounds us and about ourselves. We handle suffering and stress better.
Being able to live consciously in the present is within our reach. The future existence will depend on it; much more than the other things we cannot control.
We can free ourselves from unnecessary suffering. It is enough to leave the shell in which we have taken refuge, lower the volume to the noise that comes from outside, open our eyes to what we have inside and dare to truly live.
The gratitude jar is an exercise in personal development that allows us to value more the positive aspects of life. Read more "