MINDFULNESS IN THE ELEVATOR
I am standing in the elevator as I am leaving work and I realize that I am the only person who is not taking out their phone during the ride down. It strikes me that there is no longer a need to feel awkward in the elevator. No having to figure out where to look or just stare at the numbers changing as the floors go by.
I suppose that these observations may make me seem out of step with the modern world but, as a practicing clinical psychologist, I know that these same people can be troubled by the lack of a satisfying “work/life balance.” In my practice, most of my clients are working on incorporating mindfulness techniques in order to disengage, at least for a short time, from the intensity of the technological world. I know myself that it can be quite difficult to disengage, as our devices deliver that dopamine rush when we check them for whatever fascinating information we are needing at the moment.
I believe that we have forgotten how to be bored. When do we get the opportunity to be bored anymore? I remember reading a book to my children when they were young titled “BORED-NOTHING TO DO.” It is about 2 brothers who complain of being bored at home and then find that they can be quite creative, given the “gift” of boredom. Boredom allows us to tap into our inner world, our dreams, hopes and fantasies. It allows us to connect with ourselves. This, in turn, allows us to connect more authentically with others.
Most people do not know where they can get the time to practice mindfulness.
Actually, this can be done almost anywhere, anytime, if we give ourselves the opportunity. So, this is what we can do. We can think about how much time we spend on our devices and social media and take some time back to connect with ourselves. All of us can find at least 10-15 minutes a day to disconnect and practice some form of mindfulness. We can then give ourselves the opportunity to explore "inner space" and connect with our inner selves, even when we are on the elevator.