For a happy mind, it is important to live in this moment right here and right now. Your time should not be spent looking to the future or dwelling in the past, it should be spent enjoying all the great things all around you.
Whatever has happened in your past will stay that way for the rest of your life. It will never change. That does not mean it dictates who you are today. Every day is a fresh chance to do something good, make a new decision and make your life a little easier and little happier.
In the past, you may have had many faults that you're aware of and accepted. But that does not mean that the person who woke up today has to do the same. You have to commit to being the person you want to be, make a conscious decision to make a change and be the person that you want to be. It is, of course, easier said than done, but saying it to yourself is the first baby step.
For instance, say you want to a kinder person, now that's a bit vague but just start small, make a note to be polite to all the people you meet. Did someone bump into you on the bus? That's fine no need to berate them, chances are it was an accident. Are you at a shop? Say thank you, ask how the person serving you is doing. Smile!
The past is never going to change but don't let it define you. You can be whoever you want to be on any given day. The choice is yours.
Getting caught up in thinking to the future is also a bad habit to be avoided, even if it's being excited about something it is important to remain in the moment. You could be saving for a house deposit and only be two years away, but if all your attention is set on how much you're going to love the house, how amazing it will be how perfect everything will be once you have a house. You forget to enjoy where you are right now.
If you're saving for a house, you are likely in a really good place in your life, you've got a good job where you can save some of your income, you're settled enough in the city you're in that you're committing to buying a house. Maybe you're buying a house with your partner? That's great! You are in a loving relationship and going to buy a house together. Woohoo!
It's OK to be excited, just don't let it hold all of your attention, enjoy all the great things you have going on around you because that will help lower your stress about your end game and let you sink into enjoying each day and the journey. It also means if any hiccups come up along the way you won't get totally crushed.
I'm guilty of this as well, I was stuck thinking about all the great things this blog could lead to. So much to learn, so many people to help it'll be great! I spent a lot of time fantasizing about how great it would be, meanwhile, I hadn't written any articles! How am I meant to help anyone with only good intentions and ideas?? If I'd managed to keep myself in the present moment I could have start writing articles three weeks ago! But I realised my mistake, decided not to dwell in the past, and began writing. Now that the blog is launched it has content for you lovely readers to browse, as opposed to being a shell full of hopes and dreams.
Every day holds a new possibility, you can't decide what the future will hold. You can steer yourself towards the future you want but you can't plan out every possibility and if you practise sticking to the now you will ride out each disaster as it happens and come out the other side smiling a lot faster than others might.
How To Be In The Moment
If you need some help to break out of that mindset in a given instant then there are some different exercises to help keep you in the moment if you look into mindfulness practises. Something I find useful is nice and easy.
Push away from your desk, or simply take a step backwards and close your eyes. Sit or stand with good straight posture and take a breath all the way in, and out. Keep breathing nice big controlled breaths and plant your feet firmly on the ground and push against the earth. Not so much that you stand or fall over but you are completely steady. Feel that you are still here. You are in this moment right now. That is your feet touching the ground. There is nothing else, only you in this moment connecting with the earth, not drifting away into your thoughts and getting lost. Keep breathing and when you are ready to open your eyes and begin again at what you were doing. In that moment.
They might not be the prettiest feet but I know when they press into the floor they are mine
This helps me to ground myself if I'm getting stressed. I cannot create more time. I cannot use the time that is passed I can simply use the time I have right now to do all that I can.
The past is constant, dwelling on it will not achieve anything. The future holds so many uncertainties that planning out every step will not get you anywhere. Having an end goal is fine just take all the twists and turns in your stride and stay present. It is full of joy and wonder.
If you have any practices you do to keep yourself grounded please share them in the comments! I'd love to try them out. Or if you give it a go let me know how you find it.