Just one letter separates two totally different worlds. In fact, one word is practically the antonym of the other. “Mind full” with two l´s is, alas, a very typical phenomenon in today´s frenetic world, where we have so much going on. It doesn´t matter whether you´re a grandparent, parent, student, teenager… In a typical day there are tasks, goals, deadlines and family/relationship issues all going on inside in our head. This, my dear Watson, is what a “full mind” is. While it is difficult to empty those thoughts every five or ten minutes, the important thing is to take note and observe when and how often it´s happening because obviously, it´s not good for our mental wellbeing in the long run. It can result in poor performance, high stress levels, anxiety and sometimes even trauma. As well as this, when we are “mind full” others can pick up on it quicker than we realise, when dealing with us (especially children!), and it can make them feel unimportant.
On the other hand, being “mindful” is learning to be present. If we allow our thoughts to be drawn to things of the past or the future, then obviously we don´t leave much space to concentrate in the “now”. Being present enhances our ability to connect with others. It is a skill which is critical to experiencing life in more valuable ways. If we can stay aware of what we choose to focus on, by being aware of what we sense, think and feel, then we can make conscious choices. So, the next time you realise that your mind is “full”, stop for one moment and reflect. “Where am I with my thoughts and what can I put to the side until I have this particular issue solved?” Perhaps it´s easier said than done, but it´s definitely worth a try. All it takes is one step.
One day or day one. You decide.