Mindful Moments: Red lights and dinner tables - Learning to be more Mindful

Blog Contributor: Dr. Victoria Shedrick

So how much time do you have?  I’ve got about two to three minutes to grab your attention and make a point here!  But if it’s not the endless lists and check-boxes in your head, your phone buzzing with a text or email, a television that no one’s really watching in the background, or maybe your child tugging at your leg to show you something, I’m sure you’re distracted while reading this. 

 Life is filled with distractions.  Most distractions are good, and add a certain something to our days that create moments of joy.  While other distractions, often self-created, keep us from being more mindful. Mindfulness is paying attention and being in the moment.  And moments are precious and happen only once.

While driving, how often do you stop at red lights to take care of business? Without thinking you reach for your phone to send an email or text, take a selfie, pay a bill online or order a gift from Amazon.  Something that could have waited, but you chose to fill what you viewed as a “void”, the ordinary stop at a red light.  A moment unworthy of being cherished.  Moments are precious and happen only once.

Or how about family dinners, where “BYOD” is an acceptable and familiar practice?  Yes, dinner is ready so “Bring Your Own Device!”  Parents bring tablets and phones, while kids bring games.  It’s dinner time—another moment unworthy of being cherished.  But moments are precious and happen only once.
So, here’s the challenge for 2017!

Two things…both very simple.  First, at your next red light, resist the urge to reach for your phone.  Instead, take a deep breath, reflect over something good that happened during your day, notice the clouds or sunset, or take this time to simply say “Thank God for this moment”.  For moments are precious and happen only once. 

And second, break the BYOD rules at dinner time!  Use this time to actually look at your spouse, children, or loved ones.  You may be amazed at what you notice.  Pay attention to their expression, ask them about the best part of their day, and really listen to their response.  Notice, listen and laugh.  It will be the best part of your day.  Without a device nearby or in hand, you’ll find that you connect to what’s most important—the moment.  Moments are precious and happen only once.

Dr. Victoria Shedrick is a Licsened professional counselor intern in Columbia, SC who works at NWC Counseling. She specializes in working with children and adolescents with anxiety, impulse control, ADHD among other behavioral issues. She is currently offering an 8-week group called "Mindful Moments" to children assisting them in gaining insight about their behaviors, using mindfulness to change them and empower them. Click HERE to complete an interest form for the group so our office can follow up with you. To learn more about her and how she can better serve you visit our website HERE or contact us at (803) 851-6801.

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