Life is fast. It seems even faster when we aren’t being present to the now. Many things keep us away from the present moment, however I believe that it’s negative emotions that pull us the hardest.
What do I mean when I say ‘negative emotions’? These are the parts of the human experience that can be the most difficult to work through. Anger, sadness, jealousy, worry, guilt and being judgemental are not enjoyable feelings. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling them, problems arise when we get stuck in feeling them. Which makes it difficult to let go and find brightness in our world.
I believe guilt (wishing we had or had not done something) and anger (wishing that someone else had or had not done something) keep us in the past. While anxiety transports us to a future that may or may not exist. Focusing all that energy on those moments means that what is happening right now is being missed.
Being present is no easy feat. So where to start?
- Awareness – start noticing your thoughts. Once you take up the role of a non-judgemental observer you can learn a lot.
- Options – once you have the awareness you have options. The next time a negative thought pops into your head you have a choice to make. You can follow it to the past or future, or instead say ‘no thanks’ and stay in the now.
- Develop – you can start to train your brain to ignore the fear or not to feel overwhelmed by it. These thoughts aren’t necessarily facts and in this present moment, there is nothing to fear.
As the Summer arrives it’s the perfect excuse to sit outside and focus on your breath. Imagine you are on a sun holiday. Most people find it much easier to relax on holidays because they feel like they’ve left the stress of life behind. That’s partly true but in reality the stressors haven’t changed, your perspective has. Starting today try to change your perspective, attempt not to focus on things that have already happened or have yet to happen. Instead learn how you can let go and be present. Maybe grieve, put the past behind you and start fresh. Live your life as if you are on an eternal holiday. Be grateful for each passing second, because unlike many you are here to be a part of it.
“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” – Ivan Turgenev