Take Your Time!
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
While looking through thousands of pictures from the 2022 Stein Dash in Puyallup, WA, I kept going back to the picture of this little boy who stopped just a few feet from the finish line. His calm and wonder caught my attention. I kept thinking...what's going through his mind? And how liberating not worry about crossing that finish line.
We are often so focused on what’s next — getting a promotion, a new house, a bigger car. After one achievement, we’re already thinking about the next one. Our life becomes one big accumulation of achievements, in our relentless drive to succeed. But the problem with that is, while we are racking up these ‘wins’, we aren’t really participating in the world around us. When we are always thinking about what’s next — and tangible signs of success — we are not engaging in the life that we are living right now. We only have so much time on this earth, and there is no way of knowing exactly how much time we have.
Here are some tips and suggestions from VeryWell Mind, about being present and enjoying the here and now.
NOTICE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
How often do you take time out of your day to actually look around and see what's going on? When was the last time you sat down, closed your eyes, took a deep breath, and just looked at everything around you?
FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME - DON'T MULTI-TASK
If you're working on something, give it all of your attention. When you find yourself thinking about other things or checking your phone because you don't feel like doing the task at hand, stop and turn that focus back to what's in front of you.
BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE NOW
If you are constantly focused on things you don't have, you aren't taking the time to appreciate what you have right now at this moment.
ACCEPT THINGS AS THEY ARE
If you want to start living in the present moment, you need to let go of how you think things should be and accept them for what they are. You cannot control everything that happens around you; sometimes life is going to be different than how you want it to be.
PRACTICE MINDFUL MEDITATION
This type of meditation helps people become aware and increase their concentration on what they are doing at any given time.
SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY AND FULLFILLED
Spending time with people who make you feel happy and fulfilled can be a great way to help yourself live in the present moment. Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people will increase your own positivity and happiness levels. In turn, this will allow you to focus on what is going well right now instead of dwelling on past or future events.
BE MINDFUL OF EVERYTHING YOU DO
How often are you eating your lunch while watching TV at the same time? This is one way you might distance yourself from what you are doing and not live in the present moment because all of your attention isn't on that task or activity.
PRACTIVE DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES
Taking the time to sit down and practice a deep breathing exercise will help you focus your mind on the task at hand. Taking slow, regulated breaths helps to prevent feelings of panic or any other negative thoughts from taking over while allowing for more control during the activity in which you are currently engaged.
TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY
While you might think that constantly checking your social media accounts is helping you stay connected to the world, it is actually having a negative effect on your ability to be present.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE OR DO SOME YOGA
Regular exercise or even just taking a stroll through the park can help you to stay more focused on your present activities. Including yoga as part of your daily routine is another great way to live in the present, especially if it's coupled with meditation and mindfulness exercises. If you can't make time for all full yoga class, just stopping what you are doing to take a couple of minutes for some basic poses can help you to get back into the moment.
The reality is that each moment, week, and year of your life is precious. And finite. Walk, run, stroll through your life journey appreciating the present. Look around. Breathe it all in. Relish in the moment. Don't be in a rush to cross that finish line.