When having discussions with people about living consciously this is a very common question. I’ve heard it from many people on several different occasions.
So is living consciously mentally draining? The simple answer is no. However, if it’s a practise which you’ve just adopted then it could possibly feel that way.
If you’ve been living on autopilot most of your life then making the transition will be tiring.
It’s exactly the same principle as exercising. If you’ve never exercised and you start a new training program, initially, you will feel very tired.
Your body is being made to do things it hasn’t done before.
However, once you get under way and it becomes a habit, you start to realise that you’re doing things you’re designed to do. Our bodies were designed to run, jump and be full of vitality.
The same applies to our minds. Over time we’ve become lazy. But that is not how we are designed and it certainly isn’t what we were meant to do or how we were meant to live.
So when you take the first steps to living consciously you will initially feel a little bit of mental strain. You’ll feel like you’re being stretched.
The act of paying attention to your thinking and then making a conscious decisions to then shift your focus to something more productive and valuable will take it’s toll initially.
Once you start though, that’s when things begin to change. It then goes from being an exercise that requires effort to a practise that is habitual.
Don’t feel disheartened if you stray back into your old ways. Keep persisting and eventually you will just get better at it.
When I first tried to learn to solve a Rubik’s cube, I was disappointed that I couldn’t do it, but then I keep going and now, it’s easy, I can’t quite do it with my eyes closed like some people 😆 but generally speaking, now it’s just second nature.
There is a very distinct difference between living consciously and control. Living consciously is not control. It is much more closer to paying attention and being mindful.
It is making decisions based on listening to your true inner feeling/voice/calling. It’s about paying less attention to the things that we do not need. It’s about paying less attention to the billions of voices of input that we get everyday.
It’s about listening to the one that truly counts. Listening to your calling; listening to your voice.
It’s about being deliberate rather than being forever in a state of reaction.
How To Get Started
Like anything else, once you get started, you get into a rhythm. It becomes easier. You start to see the benefits. There are a few simple ways to get started and more advanced methods as you progress but here are some simple pointers.
1. Ask lots of questions. Here’s a great simple one, when was the last time you questioned why you eat breakfast? So, why do you? What’s the purpose of it? Simple things like these will shift your attention and get your out of autopilot.
2. Pause at various moments during the day and observe what you were thinking about? Was it futile or worthwhile things?
3. How often do you drive without thinking about all your moves? Probably not since you were a learner right? Try going back to those days and think about your movements, actions, do them with precision and fluency.
These are just a few ways you could get started. Feel free to think of many more of your own methods, consciously create more methods and feel free to share them with me in the comments below.
Is living consciously a new concept to you? Did you find this post useful?