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Mindfulness can be defined as a state where we are fully attending to what’s happening, to what we are doing, and to the space we’re moving through. While the concept may seem simple, mindfulness – the ability to be attentive, aware and engaged in the moment as we live our lives has been greatly complicated by the digital environment we live in. In this digital world, where we are constantly exposed to outside content and influences distracting us from the present moment, it is easy to lose sight of what is in front of us.
Incorporating mindfulness practice in this digital environment is critical to finding our way in this digital environment. I recently had an assignment which asked me to set aside my phone, sit, and reflect at a spot on campus. While at first I thought the assignment was silly, by the end of the time, I realized the importance of the assignment. It was eye-opening to just be present and observe for a time without my phone and with no outside digital sources and just reflect and take-in my surroundings. I chose to do the assignment at the Arboretum and was amazed at how beautiful the space was and how enjoyable it was to have time without any of distractions we face constantly from the digital world. I felt the stress fade away and discovered my new favorite spot on campus. This simple exercise made me realize the importance of staying attentive to the present moment and essentially making sure to “stop and smell the roses.”
The assignment further made me realize just how distracted we are by the constant bombardment we are exposed to through our phones, ipads, internet access etc. This distraction not only causes us to lose sight of the things and people in front of us at the present moment, but also serves to distract us and derail us from our own success. In order to achieve success, we must be present in our own moments and engaged and focused on that is in front of use rather than paying attention to what others may be doing or saying. Mindfulness is key to attending to our present tasks so we can attain our future goals.
In many ways our daily lives are bettered by the presence of digital sources which can make it easier to obtain information quickly, stay in touch with loved ones and engage with friends for example. However, in order to truly benefit from these modern advances, we must remain mindful and ensure that we remain aware of our present, engagement in what we are doing and pay attention to the present so we can achieve a happy, healthy, and successful future.