October 27, 2023

5 Ways to Cultivate Attentiveness This Fall

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, but it’s also fleeting–especially with the holidays coming. Read about how to cultivate more calm and attentiveness so you can enjoy this season fully.

Autumn leaves

5 Ways to Cultivate Attentiveness This Fall

Autumn is officially in full swing, and in many places in the world, it’s a truly beautiful time of year. Temperatures are milder; leaves are turning yellow, orange, red, and gold; there are so many seasonal flavors, scents, and sights to enjoy.

Fall is also often a fleeting season, and it ushers in the beginnings of the holiday-season-craze. With so much planning, preparation, and focus on the material–not to mention the holiday advertising shifting earlier and earlier each year– it can be tempting to get caught up in the anticipation and stress, and allow this beautiful season to pass by without living it fully.

This feeling of rushedness and anticipation, which we’ve all felt, can prevent you from feeling calm. And calm is essential to being present and focused–and really, for your overall well-being.

So, how can you cultivate a state of calm, focus, and attentiveness this season?

1. Make time to spend in nature.

One of the best things you can do to bring your attention to the present and find calm is to get outside. We are all inseparably a part of nature– and our bodies respond well when we make an effort to bring ourselves in union with it by opening all of our senses to the world around us.

Attentiveness and calm are both very much rooted in our senses: feelings, tastes, smells, sounds, and sights. And what lovelier time than fall to get in touch with the senses and connect to nature?

2. Practice gratitude on a daily basis.

At the end of each day, reflect on and make note of a few things–big or small– you feel grateful for or appreciative of that day. Countless studies show that those who practice gratitude regularly have better mental health. But, this practice can also help you become more attentive to how you live each day and each moment.

3. Find moments of silence amidst the noise.

Our modern lives are filled with constant noise and distraction. Take a moment now to notice the noise around you. Is there a fan blowing? Is your TV on in the background? Maybe you can hear the cars and trucks outside on the street, doors opening and closing, phones ringing, or people talking around you.

More broadly, noise is all of the meaningless hubbub going on around you at any given time. Though it’s easy to get caught up in, over time, this noise can drown out our inner voice and cause us to live our days through a kind of filter, with less focus and attention.

To “break through” some of this hubbub and chaos, find some time every day, even a half hour, to simply be in silence–no music, phones, talking, or other stimulations. Notice how you feel during those times compared to your day-to-day normal.

4. Reflect on a few of your favorite things.

Have you ever been so busy and distracted, that all of a sudden it’s been three months and you can hardly remember anything about that time?

This season, actively reflect upon your favorite things about fall (and, really, every season). Make a list, if you’d like. You may find that these reminders help you live this season, and all the rest, with more attention and serenity.

5. Find peace in this moment.

As psychiatrist Dr. Nigel Lester recommends, one way to bring yourself into a state of calm and give attention to your needs during any given moment, take a pause and ask yourself, “What would bring me peace right now? What could I do to have peace in this moment?”

This may help take your attention out of spiraling thoughts (which are often rooted in hypotheticals or future) and bring them back to the present moment so you can gain clarity on what you need right now to stay calm and refocus.

While these are all practices and reminders you can incorporate into your daily life on your own, sometimes we all need some guidance and accountability. And, you may find that you want to dig even deeper.

This is where Anthropedia coaching can be incredibly powerful–you can work collaboratively with a coach who will help you not only figure out where in your life more calm, attentiveness, and focus may be meaningful, but also cultivate the tools and skills you need to make it happen.

Learn more about Anthropedia's coaching or coach training.

For now, remember to simply take a moment and bring your attention to whatever it is you are doing, so you can live each day with more focus, presence, and calm.

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