We’re all so busy living our lives and doing our “stuff” that we sometimes forget the little things that actually help us to become happier and more connected to ourselves. You may be achieving a lot, helping yourself and others with worldly things… but do you feel happy? Do not forget that the most important individual in your life is YOU. This is not egoistic: this is healthy. If you don’t first take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of others. You’re in this body to experience life to the fullest and this can only be done in the current moment. The world famous and much discussed “Now”.
Often we get distracted so much by our thinking mind (maybe even for days or weeks) that we forget to experience the current moment. Here are four things you can do (or don’t do, to be more precise) to become a more aware and happier person:
1. Stop thinking about the past
Our minds may spend too much time reliving our past memories. Joyful or not so joyful, any memory of the past will pull your mind right out of the current moment. Many people are not aware that they are spending so much time with their memories, until they learn to notice their thoughts. Especially past events that had a negative or positive impact on you will keep your mind busy. There’s no point in holding on to that. If a memory is very painful, deal with it. When it keeps coming back, it’s telling you that it needs to be dealt with in one way or the other. Thinking without acting is just a flight from reality.
2. Stop thinking about the future
Thinking about the future is fine if it has a practical purpose, e.g. “at what time do I have to catch my train?”. In all other cases it is almost always pretty useless. In fact, don’t be shocked, but even your next second on this planet is a great black void of endless possibilities… and this one, and this one too… boooom! If you have worries about the future that keep your mind busy, invest time to find a way to tackle them for good, because they are distracting you from living your life and put your focus in the wrong direction (remember the saying: “worrying is praying for the bad to happen”).
3. Stop dramatizing or being too emotional
Another trick of the mind that pulls you out of this moment is to dramatize thoughts and events. There is never a good reason for drama or being too emotional about anything. Emotions are pointers to things that you should act upon, to make you move, in this moment. Using emotions to avoid the current moment is an unnecessary (flighting or fighting) habit that we may have to learn to get rid off. Mostly, emotions are related to past events and cracks that need some attention. They are a mirror for you to discover parts of you that need work. If you catch yourself having one single emotion a lot, find a healthy way to investigate and handle this.
4. Stop rationalizing or overthinking too much
Finally, when everything else is at peace, your mind may try to escape in logic. Philosophers, for example, are very good at using their brains to build large structures of logic and create stories around these. Again, this isn’t good or bad, but for sure it pulls you right out of this moment and defies you of an actual experience. Be aware when your mind is overthinking too much, maybe it’s time to let go. When your mind is quiet, often the best solutions will come to you.
Always remember you’re not alone and you’re so much more than just your thoughts and ideas. On this earth you’re one of the players in this beautiful game of experience. You’re challenged to find peace within yourself, develop your heart and then bring peace to others and to our planet. Please do never forget the value of you being here and now.