Why You Should Live In The Moment And Not Sweat The Small Stuff
We all know that living in the past can drag a person down, but why? And what about living in the future? We need balance, but living in the moment is something we must focus on if we are to lead happy lives. Living in the moment has been shown to be the best way to become and stay happy. Here is why.
We Can’t Change the Past
Almost every one of us has regrets about something in our past, but there is nothing we can do to change it. Instead of wasting our moments and energy in lament over situations that are long gone and no longer in our control to change, we can use the energy to make our present situation better. Learn what you can from the past, and then move on.
We Can’t Predict What the Future Holds
Don’t worry about the future, because you cannot predict what it will bring. You can only prepare to a certain extent, and being fearful about what tomorrow holds will only cause stress that will contribute to health and mental problems.
Live in the moment and choose to make the present your focus. Instead of fearing what repercussions your choices will bring to your future, make decisions based on what is good in your life right now at this moment. This will reduce tendencies towards depression and fear.
It Forces You to Be Present
When we think more about the past or the future than the present, we drift away from what is right in front of our eyes. Maybe your present involves a work project that demands your full attention and energy. Maybe your present involves small children with runny noses who need lunch put on the table. When you embrace your present fully, you will get more out of the life you have. You will finally be able to stop sabotaging your present joy with fear about what may come next, or the guilt of decisions that are now in the past.
Be thankful for the faces in front of you now, and for the opportunities that are knocking on your door at this very moment. The moments you learn to cherish will enhance your future with the warm memories you will carry there, and you will have no regrets over misplaced focus.
Having a Balanced Outlook
Living in the present is important. Having a balanced focus is important too. When you think about the future, make the plans that are necessary for you to enjoy that time later, because someday the future will be your "in the moment." Don’t neglect your planning for the future, but don’t let it consume your life in an unhealthy way. Balance is key, and will help you not to feel stress due to too much focus on one area.
But what happens when we are living in the moment and something bad happens? We have all heard that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but letting oneself get stressed out over the little things in life is one of the biggest ways to bring unnecessary grief into life’s path. We can avoid a lot of negative feelings, and even health problems, simply by learning not to let the little things get to us.
Focus on the Big Picture
When something small happens that makes you angry, compare the moment’s significance to everything else going on in your own life, and in the world around you. You may have spilled your cake batter on the floor an hour before your guests are due to arrive. Are your friends still going to love you and enjoy the evening even if you don’t have a freshly baked cake for them? If so, maybe you should put your energy somewhere other than berating yourself for this small mistake.
Remember That We All Make Mistakes
When something small threatens to destroy your attitude and positive outlook, think about the fact that everyone makes mistakes. Whether it is yourself or someone else who caused the situation that feels like a train wreck, keep in mind that mistakes are a normal part of life that happen to everyone. Don’t let one bad moment take you by surprise.
It can be hard to forgive someone else when it feels like they have brought you extra work and stress. When someone rear ends your vehicle, you may be tempted to lash out at them verbally. However, stop and think about how it may feel to be in their situation. Don’t act and feel as though you have never made a mistake, but choose empathy.
Forgiving others can be a simple matter in comparison to forgiving ourselves. There are many moments that we treat ourselves worse than we would ever allow a friend to treat us. When you are having a difficult time forgiving yourself, think of how you would handle a similar mistake made by a good friend. Stop and think before bullying yourself, and consider seeking professional help if you can’t stop a cascade of negative thoughts every time you fall short of perfection.
Ask Yourself If It Will Matter in Ten Years
We all have problems, and generally at the time, any problem seems big. Perception is not always the truth, though, and it is up to us to put our situation into perspective so that we can properly deal with whatever comes our way. When something negative happens in your life, ask yourself if it will matter in ten years. If it won’t, let it go. If someone gives you the middle finger in traffic, you may be tempted to lose your cool, but it is simply not worth it. Save your emotions for things that are life changing and deserve your full attention.
When something goes wrong, you have two choices. You can slip into a rage, or let it go. Making the choice not to sweat the small stuff and live in the moment will bring you life-changing happiness, and you will be thankful for your own shift in perspective. And remember to utilize the time and the life you are given right here and now, and you will know true happiness.