If you are familiar with addiction recovery, you know that living life one day at a time is a major part of a successful recovery.
I’m here to say that in order to be happy, healthy, and have a little peace of mind in life you need to not only live one day at a time…you need to begin being present. Learn to stay in the moment.
When was the last time that you sat down to eat a meal and actually concentrated on the act of eating? Usually we are doing other things besides just eating that take our minds miles away from what we are actually doing. We’re not staying in the moment…we’re somewhere else.
How many times have you sat down to read something just to realize that you haven’t actually been absorbing the last few paragraphs that you just read because you were preoccupied with past thoughts? For me, it used to happen quite often.
If you think about it, all of our thoughts are made up of either our memories or our imaginations. So basically we are either remembering something or imagining something. It can be hard to rein either of those thought processes in…but it can be done.
The act of taking control of our thinking and our internal dialog is what allows us to be present and stay in the moment. It takes some practice but once you are even aware of your internal dialog…you are on your way.
Remember this important fact, you are never going to stop your mind from wandering. Don’t set yourself up for an expectation that will not come to fruition. Are minds are wanderers…that’s just the way it goes.
What you can start to do is train yourself to bring your thoughts back to the present moment once you have realized that they have wandered.
Start with something simple like brushing your teeth:
- Think about how the toothpaste looks as it is coming out of the tube and you are putting it on your brush
- Notice what the toothpaste first feels like as it touches your mouth
- What does it taste like?
- What does the brush feel like going over your teeth?
- How does the brush feel in your hand?
- What sensation do you get to know that it is time to spit?
- What does the water feel like while you are rinsing your mouth?
Boom! You have just stayed in the moment while brushing your teeth. Your mind may have wandered here and there but once you realized it, you brought your thoughts back to what you were doing.
So, how does staying in the moment while brushing your teeth benefit you? It’s a way of training yourself in the art of being present. After learning how to stay in the moment during mundane situations you can begin to apply this thinking to bigger and better things.
What you will find is that you’ll begin to be aware of negative self talk, of replaying bad situations in your head, and of worrying about the unknown. Once you are aware of these things…you can stop them.
Stopping this type of thinking in it’s tracks will leave you with the opportunity for a little peace of mind. Peace of mind is the most beneficial gift that someone allows themselves in life…in my opinion.