“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” -Amit Ray
There’s a reason why today is called the present. Like most words, it isn’t a mistake. Words are one of the most intentional things I’ve come to realize about the universe. This includes every words in any language.
The word present as a replacement for today, can mean a gift or intentional awareness, depending on what you want to relate it with.
However, for the purpose of this write-up, I’ll use present not just for the description of the current day, but also as another word for mindfulness.
To be present in this case simply means being aware of what is going on around you without fixation in the past or worries about the future. It is being here and now in this moment.
This seems a very simple definition. But it has proven to be one of the hardest thing for most people to practice.
The human mind is timeless: always gathering every information since inception of the individual into the unconscious. Our mind and brain is a massive warehouse of stored information. This should be a good thing. But not always. Because we’re not able to use this for our good.
For the one who constantly visits the sad events in the past which then affects his current mood because of the negative effects the event had on him, the stored information isn’t helpful unless he heals from the negative impact.
Then there is the case of another whose daily living is so filled with tomorrow’s imagined events that he’s unable to concentrate in this day. His thoughts are full of worries of what could go wrong about events he has not yet experienced.
Both cases are instances of when we miss the gift of today in yesterday’s troubles or in tomorrow’s concerns.
This is where mindfulness or the act of being present becomes helpful.
If you get too caught up in the past, you may experience depression. And if you become too anxious of the future, anxiety may become your reality.
Whether the past or future, neither of them compares to the current gift of today; of the PRESENT.
Today is what we have, and can behold. The past is a memory in our brain and the mind’s eye. And tomorrow never comes.
Today is all we have PRESENTLY. And if we do not cultivate the habit of maximizing this present moment, we may exist as a fragment of our memory (the past) or an imagined entity of the future (tomorrow) we haven’t yet experienced.
In working with individuals in their healing journey, one thing have been evident in most cases I’ve had to deal with: the majority either had emotional issues because of their continued fixation in the past, and trying to relive it, or have so much worries of what the future have in view for them. Both were detrimental to their ability to live in today successfully.
Both ways have affected these individuals so much that they barely can live in the world to function properly on daily basis.
Today isn’t called the present for no reason. It is so that we will be actually PRESENT in it both with our body and soul. If we don’t, we miss out living. We become strangers to where we should be in charge. This discrepancies in our experience becomes part of the reasons we may become very well disconnected from even ourselves. No wonder some experience depersonalization as a result.
A major cause of depersonalization often experienced during anxiety and depression is living in the imaginary: where you are full of thoughts about the future, or of the past. It causes you to lose touch with reality and increase your chances of more panic attacks .
Mindfulness is about us taking cognizance of the here and now and being grateful for it.
I’m not saying we should erase our past, neither to never think about the future. We are humans. And these things must happen. We’re a product of all our experiences. That can’t be denied or erased.
I am appealing to you to not be too fixated in the past or future that you forget to live TODAY. After all, isn’t today the tomorrow we had talked about yesterday?
If you find the events in your past affecting your current day, find your healing. When you’re healed from it, it ceases to be a sorrowful memory. Healing expands your perspective of the event, and puts you in an empowering place to observe rather than become a victim to it.
Tomorrow is to be planned for. Not worried about. Studies have since shown that over 95% of our worries never happen. Why waste the moment in what may never happen then?
This is where mindfulness is an excellent practice. It helps you really present in the world you are living. Thus conserving your energy, and building the right inner strength and insights to work out tomorrow’s plans.
To be present means just that: being present. It isn’t denying your past experiences. Neither does it keep you away from having future dreams. It is living in the present.
As a matter of fact, it helps you achieve these two time zones in the most powerful way. In a state of control and absolute calmness.
Anything outside of this state can land your mind in trouble because you have it disturbed in the way it wasn’t designed to function optimally.
Becoming mindful isn’t an Herculean task at all. It is as simple as observing your breath, knowing what is happening around you, and your responses, noticing your thoughts from the perspective of the observing self, rather than the thinking self.
Your thinking self is the self that assumes you’re every 60000+ thoughts that passes through your mind daily. This is the self that puts many in trouble about who they are based on the total thoughts they are having.
Your observing self on the other hand, is the part that is aware of how thoughts are sometimes just mere passage of time and events, and observes them as they move by; without taking any personally. Except that which is necessary for its growth.
Mindfulness helps you learn to observe your thoughts within breaths. With its practice, you’re able to learn how to actually see how much control you don’t have about what you think, but you have of what you choose to dwell on.
This is why being present can help with your cultivation of healthy emotional lifestyle devoid of much drama and unnecessary beliefs about your thoughts that leaves you running from the self in anxiousness.
Find few minutes in your daily schedule for mindfulness sake.
Develop the habit of not just flowing to and fro in the day’s busyness without awareness of what’s going on around you, especially in your mind.
When you get to that point where you have become more present in the day for what it is, you have come to that place of improved and better emotional stability and true HAPPINESS.
This is why you should be present in today without being carried away too much in the past or future. Today’s the day. It is this moment, and therefore the most important.
If we can manage today well, we can have a better memory of yesterday and good anticipation for tomorrow.
I’ll admonish you therefore to be PRESENT.
This is one of the secret of a happy lifestyle.
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To your healing, love and fulfillment.
Joy Iseki, #thecounsellor
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