If Not Now, When? The Beauty of Living in the Moment
By Andre Carvajal
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
Many of us want, or need, to make changes in our lives, its hard to break old habits and patterns. This often leads to frustration or fear of moving forward, we get comfortable with the same people and routine.
For many making promises is a way to increase strength of will. There is more effective solution, live in the present. This is known also as mindfulness, to focus on the present in an active and reflective way. This technique finds its roots in Buddhism and is practiced through meditation, similar to yoga, breathing is a tool to focus all your thoughts on a single activity which increases productivity.
For some living in the present is too new age, mindfulness has shown its usefulness in education, psychology, and emotional health. Those who live in the moment are more comprehensive and secure, develop higher self-esteem and more easily accept their weaknesses. They are able to hear negative feedback without feeling threatened and argue less because they are more flexible and less defensive.
Many of our concerns and worries arise from over-thinking the future. By raising awareness of the present concerns for the future disappear. The desire to know what to expect can make us more frustrated and give in to doubt when goals are not achieved. Creating enormous expectations or expecting negative feelings creates the same feelings.
People live hectic lives, and many spend more time planning future projects than enjoying or improving what is happening at the moment. The development of mindfulness helps one to realize what is under our control and what is not, you can appreciate the positive qualities of life and make better decisions.
While its normal for people and families to have concerns the reality is that many times people get trapped in these thoughts, complaining about past events or fantasizing about future activities. These thoughts are a primary source of anxiety and stress. The concern and worry causes the body to produce chemicals that create an imbalance in the body and alter immune function, which can lead to cardiovascular or metabolic problems.
Despite the benefits of mindfulness and living in the present some still oppose the idea of leaving the past behind or abandoning plans for the future. The behavior of people that think exclusively in relation to the consequences of their acts leads to distortive behavior, its difficult to separate the past and the future. From a psychological point of view, the future is not simply the product of our behavior in the here and now. The same goes with the past. Remembering behaviors that had negative consequences, can help you to not repeat it. It’s a letting go, not forgetting.
Followers of mindfulness do not say that thinking about the past or future is bad, the problems arise when these thoughts are negative, become repetitive, and prevent personal growth. Going to the past is only useful when we learn from the experience, the future could be useful and functional if we are doing real planning. Unnecessary thoughts are the ones to keep away. Before putting a yoke on your back with promises you might not fulfill, watch what you are doing now, in your present.