Worrying is one of the quickest ways to put a stop to any feeling of happiness. We worry about things that haven’t happened yet, and we worry about things that have happened in the past that we can’t change. It’s heartbreaking to consider how many happy moments we’re missing out on because we’re too preoccupied with the past or the future.
Learning to live in the moment is one solution to living a happier and more content life. You don’t want to miss out on all the wonderful little things that life has in store for you because you’re too preoccupied with worrying and agonizing over things that are beyond your control. The goal of a happier life is to learn to live in the present moment.
Begin by simply observing what is going on around you right now. Take pleasure in the people with whom you are spending your time. Keep the conversations and interactions you have with them in mind. Look around you and take in the beauty that surrounds you.
Each season brings with it new natural phenomena that can help you stay present and happy. On a crisp autumn day, notice how the light filters through the colorful leaves. Save the first few green sprouts that appear at the end of winter.
Laugh with your children and play in the first snowfall of the season. On a hot summer day, bask in the sun and observe how the light reflects off the water. If you take the time to stay in the moment and notice them, each day, season, and year has amazing treasures to offer.
Slow down, and don’t be afraid to take a moment to smell the roses. If you find yourself reverting to old not-so-good habits of worrying about things you can’t change, remind yourself to stop and instead focus on something beautiful in your surroundings. It makes no difference what it is. The goal is to train your mind to live in the present moment rather than the past or the future.
Does this mean you have to put an end to all future plotting and planning? Does this mean you shouldn’t look back and learn from the past? Obviously not. Both are essential aspects of life.
There are times when we need to plan a vacation, figure out what groceries we need for the week, or plot a future move or job change. Those are useful ways to plan ahead. Similarly, there are times when we should reflect on the past.
Perhaps we can right a wrong, improve things, or, at the very least, learn from them. That is also significant. What isn’t important or productive is dwelling on past or future events and fretting over things we can’t change.
Stop yourself whenever this happens and focus on the present. It won’t take long for you to break the habit of worrying about things that are beyond your control. As a result, you’ll have more time and energy to devote to what truly matters.
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