Strengthen the Skills of Attention

Just as physical exercise increases strength, flexibility, and endurance to support the regular activities of your life, mindfulness exercises develop skills of attention that nurture a deep and mature level of personal contentment.

Strengthening concentration makes it easier to focus on what you consider important while letting everything else stay in the background. 

Making clearer distinctions regarding what you see, hear, and feel, enhances your sensory palette. If you've ever noticed how being able to tease out flavors in food and wine can make dining more satisfying, imagine a similar impact on all your senses and on your thoughts and feelings.

Savoring whatever you notice, while not judging it or needing it to be different, fosters a sense of well-being that becomes less dependent on the constantly changing circumstances of your life.

Realizing the challenges involved in paying closer attention to the components of experience can lead to greater empathy toward yourself and others.

These practical strategies are not designed to help you escape from life, but to help you engage with it more fully. The benefits you can experience as a result of practice will reflect the time and effort you invest.

To feel better physically, you can try to move a little more and eat little less.

To foster a baseline level of your contentment that is less dependent upon possessions, moods, memories, thoughts, situations, other people, and the weather, you can notice the sensory details of your life more often and interfere less with their natural fluctuations.  

Practicing in this way can also impact how you relate to others and maybe even help make the world a little better in the process.