Life moves super-fast and it’s easy to just go through the motions as you try to keep up. Technology and social media have given us shortcuts to managing life and engaging with people. While convenient and sometimes necessary, are we really getting more done or spending meaningful time with those we love. Our energy is spread amongst multiple things so that no one thing or person gets our full attention. Our lives are filled with quantity, but what about quality?
There are many articles and books on how to slow down as we have turned into a society of “now, right now”. This has caused us to live in an anxious world and given many of us a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). We don’t truly know how we feel or our deepest dreams because they are overshadowed by the “noise”. I remember being at a concert and the megastar performer was singing on the stage and leaned down to sing to a fan. The fan had his phone out recording and could not fully engage with the experience of having a megastar sing to him. The performer said to him “you can’t even enjoy this moment because you got your phone out. Put your damn phone down!” The artist was ultimately telling him to be present and take in this moment. The fan can watch the video many times and the video is a wonderful keepsake, however, he may have no recollection of what he felt or what it meant to him at the time.
Being present is a skill that has to be honed and does not come easy to most. The more you practice the better you become at it. There are many benefits of being present including greater satisfaction with life, feeling connected to something bigger than yourself, increased mood and decreased feelings of anxiety, and better decision making.
Here are three things you should do daily to stay present and increase happiness:
- Be still. Spend at least five minutes in silence by yourself. No TV, music, or people, just you and your conscious. Let your thoughts, whatever they might be, come and go without judgement. This is practicing mindfulness. Allow yourself to be present in life so that there can be intention behind everything you do.
- Practice gratitude. Each night make a list of everything you are grateful for that day. Recognizing the good things in life makes you a thankful person which is good for your mood and soul. It also allows you to live life optimistically and expect good things. I once heard a friend say after winning a game, “you know why I just won? Because I expected to win!” We get what we believe and expect, so expect the best.
- Say “I love you”. Tell someone you love daily that you love them. It can be your spouse, children, parents, or friends, just someone you love. Nothing can replace human interaction and no emoji can create the feeling of hearing someone say “I love you”. This meaningful phrase is humbling and lets us know that we are a part of something greater than ourselves and should act accordingly.
Commit to doing these three things daily and begin to experience life as it’s happening. See a difference in your quality of life, relationships, and most important yourself. It’s time to start living with intention.
The content on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat, it is for informational purposes only. Please call our office at 404-618-1040 for an appointment or contact a mental health professional in your local area if you are seeking treatment.