How can doing nothing on purpose improve your mental wellbeing? Huw Griffiths explains…
Why would I do ‘nothing on purpose’ when my whole life is built around doing things and achieving things with the aim that I can become happy, fulfilled and relaxed? Oh, the hurry I am in, I have to go somewhere just over there…in the future.
Well, strangely enough we never quite get there, although we all do too much, in too much of a rush. For with so much expectation and opportunity we are living beyond ourselves in space and time. What if we could just stop for a moment and truly relax and be in the moment? What would we find? Ah, the fear of boredom and missing out on something super special? That New Year’s party syndrome of, “there has to be a better party on this evening just got to find out where…. somewhere over there in the next friend’s house, somewhere just over there in the future… quick, quick we must hurry”.
But maybe, just maybe, we are seeking that happiness, which we think we are going to feel when we find that extra special experience, is actually here and Now. For that never-ending feeling of unease and in-completeness is actually just a condition within the brain, a thought, a perception which always says to us, ”when I get that job, when I get that exam, when I get the qualification, when I get that house, when I get the money, when I get that partner, then I’ll be happy! Then I will be able to relax, take life easy and really be me!”
Really? Or is that a trick of our goalpost orientated brain, for when we reach that goal we have been working towards with such diligence, effort and focus, it turns out to only a bend in the road, for, as we reach our long awaited goal, there again is another set of goalposts rising out of the mists of the next horizon. It reminds me of one of those ancient Grecian tortures of carrying water up a hill in a bucket with a hole in it, only to arrive at the top of the hill to find all the water has been lost and we have to go back to the bottom and start all over again.
We reached the top of the hill. Great achievement! But that thirsty empty feeling is still there with in us.
In one sense all we are doing is trying to be happy, to be at ease, to be at peace with ourselves and to feel completed. And yet somehow every time we achieve that goal we look up and they’re on the horizon is another goalpost it’s an endless struggle an endless trial of going forward, forward, forward, reaching out, grasping out, trying so hard to reach this eternal bliss we were looking for, that something is going to make us feel so good.
What if this happiness you are seeking is actually here, available now and it’s been with this all the time?
Can you be present in the Now? Can you be present with yourself and those around you?
Why not give it ago to see what it’s like to actually be in the present moment, doing nothing on purpose.
- Your mind is constantly thinking of other things other than that just happening at the moment.
- Your mind is dwelling on the past or projecting into the future.
- Your mind is not in any shape or form present in the moment, with most of the daily stuff / chores being done on autopilot.
- You’re automatically having a cup of tea, you are automatically getting on the bus, you are automatically walking down the road, you are automatically talking to your partner or your children or your friends, and you’re not actually present at all.
Mindfulness can help this situation.
Mindfulness teaches us to be able to focus the mind in the present moment. To become mindful you need to practice Mindfulness. Yes, not read a book about mindfulness, not listen to a pod cast about mindfulness but actually sit down and practice doing nothing on purpose. Mindfulness is all about focusing your mind 100% in the present moment non-judgmentally. That’s it, that’s all you have to do.
The result of practicing mindfulness is that we can experience the present moment, feel the present moment, be with the present moment and receive it.
And there are gifts in this present moment you wouldn’t believe… if you would only stop look feel and sense the moment now.