There are people who, like my daughter, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. These people are always worried about what will happen next. They are consumed with “what ifs” and “worst case scenarios.” On one hand, I suppose that this forward thinking mentality has certain perks. But for the most part, I imagine that living this way could also bring a lot of anxiety and stress.
Everyone has heard that to be truly happy, we need to learn to live in the present moment. But for the “planners” of the world, this is easier said than done. In fact, thinking about right now can be incredibly difficult for people whose mind is already scheduled to next Tuesday. If this describes you perfectly, keep reading to find out how to chill a little and how to take a mental break.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This idea seems contradictory to “getting ahead.” But stay with me. Because sometimes, people like you (or my daughter) get so focused on what’s next that it can be difficult to appreciate what’s happening right now.
The first thing that you should try to do is slow down. Start by removing all of the “unnecessary” tasks in your day. Does the kitchen pantry really NEED to be reorganized? Probably not. Next, try to ditch the multi-tasking and do one thing at a time. This can be hard for people who are used to accomplishing a lot. But doing one thing at a time can actually help you to be focused on the current moment. Slowing down will make you feel more calm, which in turn will give you that sense of security that you are looking for.
If you want to work on living in the now, a great way to accomplish this is to pay attention to your senses. For most of us, what we see, smell, hear, taste, and feel come second to what is happening in our brains. Try to quiet the mind by being more invested in your senses, and you’ll see a change in terms of how you perceive your environment. When you feel your mind getting ahead of you, just try to tell yourself – now, now, now – and zone into what is physically affecting your body.
It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. We’ve all heard this a million times. But for those of us looking to stop worrying about what the future holds, this is a piece of wisdom that you should carry with you everywhere. Because the truth is, it doesn’t matter where you end up, and if you spend your whole time getting there on autopilot, you’ll someday realize that you missed out on a lot.
Like anything else in life, mindfulness takes discipline and practice. If these don’t come naturally at first, don’t get discouraged. Just really commit to a different way of thinking and see what positive changes it makes in your life.