In today’s hustle and bustle, it is often difficult to stay present in the moment. Our minds race from one thought to another. Often, our minds like living in the past due to the comfort we find there. We stay stuck on past mistakes or our past selves because they have become familiar. And comfort is easy, as it is well known that most people do not like change.
On the other end of the spectrum, we tend to imagine the future, to the point we create doubt and worry about things that have not happened yet. For some, this can be debilitating to the point of fearing the unknown, impacting the opportunities they choose and the way they live their lives.
So where is peace of mind found? In the present and, ironically, it is the hardest place for us to be. Think of a time you consciously focused on the task at present, with no distraction of the past or future. This is the place we are most productive. Beyond being productive, peace of mind is vital for overall well-being. Research has shown that mindfulness leads to positive psychological effects including a greater sense of well-being, decreased psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and greater regulation of behavior. The elements of being mindful and staying in the present include awareness and nonjudgmental acceptance of each experience. While being present is wonderful in theory, applying it to our own lives is the hard part. Here are a few tips to help get you get started:
Identify if you are a past or future focused individual. Accept your thoughts and tendencies and work with them to accomplish self-awareness.
Acknowledge and accept that you do not hold a crystal ball to predict the future. Restructure your expectations, and if you are going to expect anything, expect the unexpected. Remember the saying, life laughs at our plans.
Understand and accept that the now is all we have.
“Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.” -Eckhart Tolle
Source: Clinical Psychology Review