You get halfway to work and realise you’ve forgotten your phone. Wallets and purses become lost. Mistakes and accidents occur. You get home and can’t get in because you’ve lost your keys. Someone’s name slips your mind. You reach the top of the stairs and wonder: what did I come up here for?
As with the examples above, absent-mindedness tends to result in memory lapse, and weak recollection of recently occurring events. It’s also been suggested that those suffering from depression or conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tend to experience more frequent bouts of the problem.
And so we come to a couple of questions: Can meditation help us make improvements. Can part of the cause be as simple as a lack of mindfulness (awareness)?
Let’s just take one example of forgetting to pick something up before setting out for the day. This could be keys, phone, purse or wallet. Now, what is it, that has caused us to forget? Does it actually have anything at all to do with short term memory? Perhaps memory is all about the level of our awareness. In other words, it’s in those moments when we’re not particularly alert, that we fail to commit things to short term memory. How many of us are fully aware first thing in the morning or at any time we feel tired for that matter?
The other thing to consider is the level of anxiety we might be experiencing
In the time we’ve set ourselves we’re rushing around trying to get everything done. When we have so much going on it’s not surprising we forget small details. How much time does forgetting these small details cost us though? Exactly. We can’t do without keys, phones, glasses, wallets etc., and so having to go back for these things, or trying to manage without them, costs us more time.
Our tendency to overload an already stressed system causes absent-mindedness. This in turn creates greater demand on our time, ramping up the pressure, even more
Through introducing meditation into our lives we’re seeking to condition the mind to be predominantly present. Being present-moment-focused is part of the solution. The other aspect to consider is our level of awareness, this is where mindfulness-practice, comes in to play.
Mindfulness is not just about being fully engaged with what we’re doing from moment-to-moment, it’s also about being mindful of how we create, absent-mindedness
Through being mindful of the demands we’re placing on ourselves we automatically make improvements. Taking the time to slow and calm our thinking – with the use of meditation – holds the key.
Through mindfulness we can become less distracted
How distracted we are must also be considered. The extent to which we keep our minds, fully engaged with our activities, relates to the degree we allow distractions. If, for example, your mind is already on the journey ahead, whilst eating your breakfast, several things are happening. Firstly you’re not really enjoying the process of eating and secondly, your train of thought, is no longer sequential. Focus on one thing at a time, mindfully, and all will be well. Enjoy your day!