Do you spend time focusing on the present and living in the moment? If so, you're practising mindfulness, a powerful antidote to the unwanted side effects of a fast-paced lifestyle, something I refer to as the 'Drive-By Life' phenomenon.
Mindfulness: The Key to Unlocking a Life of Peace and Fulfillment
Mindfulness practice – enhances our emotional intelligence and benefits our focus. Concentrating on how you react when stressed will help you gain better control over those reactions. When we consciously realize that we can become more resilient through practice in our day-to-day activities, we are better prepared when a major issue comes our way. - Linda Marshall, Author
What is the Drive-By Life Phenomenon?
When writing my first book, Giving Back, How to Find Your Personal Joy and Make a Difference to Others, I coined the phrase "Drive-By Life" phenomena. During that time, I lived a classic "Drive-By Life," rarely living in the present, working through a to-do list of meetings and appointments without feeling my emotions or appreciating the interactions and accomplishments. When we live this way and suddenly gaze in the rear-view mirror, we realize many moments are no more than a blur.
Ways to Stay Present
Leanne Giavedoni, Wellness Lifestyle Coach, Essential Oil Educator, and B.Sc. Physiotherapy was a recent guest on my television show Business Wellness in Hamilton, on an episode titled The Drive-By Life Phenomena. Leanne shared her expertise on mindfulness and ways to reduce the negative impact of the Drive-By Life Phenomena. She recommends a three-step process to focus the mind and be present:
Leanne provides more details on this practice and a rationale for practicing mindfulness in her article, 3 Easy Steps to Ramp-Up Your Mindfulness Practice.
Can Practising Mindfulness Change My Life?
Practising Mindfulness can change our life for the better without question."Drive-By Life" is the opposite of mindfulness and can become an addictive lifestyle. There are numerous benefits to choosing a lifestyle of mindfulness. We just have to focus on ways to stay present because we live in a very distracting world where constant multitasking exists. Multitasking is challenging because it detracts from our focus on living in the present moment and negatively affects productivity.
The Thoughts that Distract Us
Did you know you have approximately 50 - 80 thousand thoughts per day? Yes, it is surprising but true. But, of course, you get to choose which thoughts you act on. So it's no wonder it can affect our focus and attention span. According to a recent study done by Microsoft, the average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is 9 seconds. Still, humans now generally lose concentration after just 8 seconds. This data highlights the effects of today's increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain. We have the power to direct our focus and choose to be mindful.
Many situations can hijack our thoughts and emotions and affect our lifestyles. However, there is a clear link between mindfulness and resilience, so practising mindfulness can make a positive difference and help you develop more robust resiliency. In my book, The Power of Emotion, I dedicated an entire chapter to mindfulness. For more strategies on increasing your emotional intelligence, check out my emotional intelligence blogs or try an EQ-i 2.0: Self-Assessment.
This article was originally published on February 10, 2018, and has been updated (July 2023).
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