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Be Happy Now.

coaching embodiment self-trust Jun 16, 2023

If you find it challenging to discover happiness in your life, there's a good chance that you're either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. This is an oversimplification to be sure, but take a moment to consider where your mind is right now.

Are you truly present?

Are you replaying scenes from yesterday?

Or are you rushing through this article to move on to your next task?

In this article, we will delve into the concept of being present.

Your Mind's Time Traveling Tendencies

At some point, humans discovered a form of time travel. No, I'm not referring to concept involving mind-bending laws of physics. Instead, I'm talking about our mental capacity to revisit past events and anticipate future occurrences. We possess a unique ability to evaluate past and future events without actually being present in those moments. As a result, most of the things we worry about happening never actually come to pass. However, our worries consume most of our emotional energy. Moreover, events that continue to haunt us from the past are nothing more than memories—they no longer exist in the present. Unfortunately, our minds struggle to discern this distinction, causing us to miss what is happening right before us.

This is also why change can be difficult. Consider a habit you wish to cultivate, such as walking for thirty minutes every day. Your mind begins to anticipate potential anxieties as the time to walk approaches. What if it rains? What if I don't feel motivated when the time comes? What if I run into my neighbor and they want to chat?

This is our mind's way of resisting change. Although it serves a purpose, it isn't particularly helpful in the present moment. If, instead, we remain fully mindful of the activity we are currently engaged in, we can make judgments about the experience when the time to walk arrives.

Practicing mindfulness and gaining control over your mind takes time—it is a lifelong endeavor.

Embracing the Present

The phrase "being present" carries certain implications. However, it simply means considering the current moment without the interference of past experiences or future anxieties. For instance, when you are focused on a task and your partner starts talking, interrupting your concentration, you might feel frustrated. Worse yet, if this has happened before and you're worried it will happen again, you might struggle to concentrate on what you're doing, and resentment toward your partner may build up.

When you feel torn between two places, take a mental step back.


Take five deep breaths.

Breathe deliberately and deeply.

Stay with your breaths, avoiding thoughts like "Almost done" or "I have so much to do; let me finish this quickly."

Simply remain present with your breath.

Then make a choice. There won't be a perfect answer—just your decision. Which point of focus will you engage with?

Here's another exercise to bring you into the present. To begin, sit quietly in a room.

Notice five things you can see. Just observe them, try not to judge them.

Notice four things you can hear.

Notice three things you can smell.

Notice two things you can feel.

Notice one thing you can taste.

Utilizing your five senses in this manner can powerfully connect you with the present.

Starting Fresh

There's a quote from the movie "Vanilla Sky" that I adore: "Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around."

There is so much hope and lightness in this notion. It's something you can grasp and achieve through practice. The present moment holds a wealth of discoveries—precious moments with loved ones, quiet moments of gratitude, and even painful moments that teach us the value of cherishing what we have while we still have it.

Each day, take note of something you're grateful for. Even if all you can be grateful for is another day of life, that's something. The more you exercise this "muscle" of gratitude and presence, the more access you'll have to the joy within your life.

In my kitchen, there's a poster that reminds me every day to "Be Here Now."

I encourage you to embrace this advice as well.


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