Mindfulness

What makes us happy? True happiness often eludes many of us because we think that we need something material or tangible to achieve it. The real secret, however, to eternal happiness comes not from what we possess but what possesses us. Of course, having financial prosperity and a job that we love doesn't hurt. However, the positive feelings that we experience from them are often short- lasting.

True happiness is not just a quick fix but an experience of thinking positive thoughts and experiencing positive emotions more consistently. So how do we achieve this state of being? One way is by engaging in the process of mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply the process of "being in the moment". This is very difficult for most people to do. Typically, as adults, we are focused on either the past, which often evokes feelings of guilt or remorse, or the future, which may bring on anxiety, fear and concern. Being able to enjoy that which we are doing in the moment is a wonderful way to live life to the fullest. Engaging in mindful activities is a way of experiencing joy and happiness on a consistent, regular basis.

All it takes (which is not so simple or easy!!!) is the awareness and determination to be focused on what you are doing in the moment. So, for example, when you take a shower, be aware of the way the water feels on your skin, the sound of the running water, and perhaps even the taste of the water is if you swallow some. Tapping into as many of our five senses as possible is a way to heighten the mindful experience. Eat your food mindfully. Take mindful walks: No talking to your friend or partner; be aware of as many sounds, smells, images and colors as you can. Have sex mindfully (if you dare). Enjoy, live life to its fullest, and let me know what your experience has been like.

Gayle D. Crespy, Psy.D. Program Director