Have you ever heard someone use a phrase and it stops you in your tracks? Days pass, and you keep repeating it over and over in your head. This was the case the other day when one of the hosts of a podcast I listen to mentioned, “the mindfulness of mindlessness.”
Upon hearing it, my first thought is how those two ideas contradict each other. Can you be mindful while being mindless? Is that even possible? When people talk about being more mindful, they talk about meditation, journaling, and activities like those. We’re told to “Be Here Now.” That’s all fine and good, and I’ll admit that I can probably work a little more on my mindfulness. But I also need to work a little more on my mindlessness.
Most of us hit the ground running once our alarms go off each morning. We answer emails while we sip our morning coffee. We listen to educational podcasts as we make our commutes. We schedule yoga classes during our lunch breaks. When we finally get a little time to ourselves, we spend it in the pursuit of mindfulness.
We’re made to feel guilty when we spend a half-hour scrolling through Instagram or binge-watching a show. Don’t we all need that kind of break, though? Isn’t it necessary to shut our brains and bodies off for a little bit?
We can be mindful by knowing when to allow ourselves to be mindless.
This isn’t saying to turn into a couch potato, or encouraging you to develop an (even worse) addiction to your smartphone. It’s just permission to give it all a rest from time to time. Play that silly game on your phone. Watch that terribly dramatic Lifetime movie. Look through silly animal photos. Take a breather. You need it. We all do.
Christen Hammons is editor-in-chief of Bella Grace. She lives in Orange County with her husband, two sassy cats, and one scruffy dog.