Struggling To Live In The Now
An extra ordinary life is made up of ordinary moments done while being fully present. But, this is not ordinary moments we’re living in right now. Staying in the now, while making sense of our Covid circumstances and accepting the mundane-ness of the moment has become just unimaginable. Unless, of course, you’re lucky to be enlightened enough to accept life as it is manifesting itself.
Our current life becomes unbearable for usually one reason. When our needs and desires, as we’re experiencing them, are not met in the immediate future, conflict arises. Our rational mind is telling us that something must be done in the real time that we’re in. At the same time, our emotional and physical needs are telling us that we must be doing what we enjoy.
Why Live In the Now?
But, why all this talk about living in the present moment, you might ask.
Let’s look at the countless ways we let our minds dictate how we feel. We think about something hurtful that we should have said to teach someone a lesson, and regret that we did not. On the other hand, we anticipate hardships and unfavorable results in the future to a task that we’re putting a great effort into now.
But these kinds of thoughts, feelings and emotions lead us to depression – if we spend too much of our time in the past, or anxiety – if we’re too anxious about unknown outcomes of the future. Clearly, living in the now and making our best judgment calls based on the present set of circumstances we’ve been given, is the single most way to finding happiness and peace.
What Children Teach Us
Pause and look around if you’re living with your children or watching them ride by on their scooters outside your window. Moreover, being present in the moment seems to come so naturally to them, its almost amazing the lessons they teach us with their mindfulness about their situations.
- That way we don’t rule anything out.
- Think really small, take baby steps, never answering anything big and don’t have to leave midway when things get overwhelming.
- We would go for the obvious rather than over-complicate every situation.
- Take into consideration things that other people might not think are reasonable.
- Have no preconceptions or biases.
- We find ourselves cry one minute and laugh out loud the next.
- Our authentic selves shine through.
- We would all engage in brainstorming, while no idea is a stupid one.
Meditate, Meditate, OMG Meditate
OK, this forced isolation has given most of us an ample supply of free time. Particularly, there’s a spectacular way to kill most of it, if not all of it!
The process of looking inward and knowing yourself is called spirituality. And that can be achieved by the act of self reflection or meditation. Meditation helps catch yourself when you’re in your default thinking mode and quiets down your thoughts. Nonetheless, when you’re meditating, you’ll end up getting lost in thoughts often. But, here’s where you learn not to judge and admonish yourself. Simply, get back to breathing, feeling your breath flow in and out of your stomach. After all, its called meditation practice not meditation perfection. Try it for a few minutes each day and find out for yourself!
So, how does it feel? Extending your own arms to pat yourself on the back for living through one more day of working yourself to extinction? Great, doesn’t it?
Win By Being Not Doing
Our society celebrates doers. If we’re not constantly doing something, we must be lazy and not motivated enough. But here’s the thing.
Existential boredom is good. Its good for the soul, because you actually can sort through your thoughts and create priorities. When the brain in under stimulated, the brains looks for stimulation boosting creativity. It enhances problem solving in a myriad of ways. Slowing down helps you check if the route you’re on in life is the one you actually want to be on. Float away on a tube in the river. Slow down to the pace of nature.
Ok, but does that mean we’re passive and lose all the momentum of the regular pace of live because we’re under forced quarantine? Nope, in fact, we can use a stress management tactic to keep ourselves on the path to reskill and upskill and be read for the time when our lives will be normal once again.
Momentum To Mitigate Stress
Encourage yourself with a few kind words of positive momentum.
- You’ve got to do something today.
- There’s someone expecting you to be somewhere today.
- You’ve got to do things you enjoy.
- And, you’ve got to do things you DON’T enjoy.
How To Connect To Calm
Our wellbeing generally depends on how well we’re able to manage our daily stressors. Situations at work, home or unexpected situations can drive even a reasonable person off the cliff with anxiety and stress.
Unconventional times like Covid have compounded our already existing battles with digital distractions and work like balance. But, there’s a place we can start by taking back control and anchoring ourselves in calm.
And that is our homes.
Understanding that our choice to consume terrifying news and social media content that pitches ourselves against others who’re baking better cakes and sewing and donating masks on top of managing their new normal is the first step to empowerment.
1. Establish a place to unplug.
2. Create rituals around schedules for eating and cleaning.
3. Create exclusive corners for activities that disable multitasking.
4. Declutter down to the basics.
5. Take stock of your surroundings to see if it’s a true reflection of your tastes.
Second, start with adapting a clarity mindset. Finding clarity in chaos is an active pursuit. Enjoy the simple things, how much would you give to get the same experience 20 years from now?
2. Set expectations early on with deadlines that seem unreasonable or unachievable.
3. Be open and Communicate how you feel with the rest of the family or your team.
4. Stop over thinking.
5. Single task, use the Pomodoro technique to stay on task for a few minutes at a time.
Pausing The Racing Mind
After doing the above, allow for yourself to recalibrate so you find Inner Peace. How do you know you found it?
1. You’re not judging yourself or others.
2. Every present moment seems to be filled with happiness.
3. You’re not overthinking.
4. You’re finding pockets of stillness in life. And, you’re smiling more!