Many of us are inclined to meditate on the past or future, instead of being a present-minded person. Focusing on the present means that you live in your current state, moment and phase of life with purpose and passion. It's so easy to grasp onto the mistakes of the past and project them onto your future. It's exciting but also stressful to plan your life out and constantly think about your future endeavors. The funny thing is, we can't change the past and life has an ironic way of not going according to our plans, sometimes with changes far better than we could imagine. So take heart - here are some advantages of being a present-minded person!
1. Reduces Your Fear of the Unchangeable
Fear of the future or fear of repeating your past mistakes, is what happens when you don't live presently. Fear is a huge motivating factor for people - it has the potential to drive away your dreams and ambitions. It also has the ability to grip you around the neck and inhibit you from moving forward. LIfe has many amazing moments as well as ugly ones. Don't let the ugly and painful moments of the past prevent you from being happy right now. One of the incredible advantages of being a present-minded person is that you hold tight to the truth that you have absolutely no control over what happens in the future and no ability to change what has happened in the past. That's incredibly freeing if you think about it, so live in the now and enjoy your life!
2. Takes Away Stress & Anxiety
Did you know that constant stress has negative, physical impacts on your body? Chronic stress can raise your heart rate, blood pressure, increase your chances of a heart attack, prevent a good night's sleep, and reduce your quality of life overall. Stress is a byproduct of things happening beyond our control, or the fear of what COULD happen. Stress and anxiety have zero ability to change any outcomes in your life, so why waste your precious health and quality of life on things of the past or problems in the future? Focus on the present and what you can do daily to improve your life.
3. Allows More Room for the Unexpected
When you live in the moment, naturally you become more flexible to change and more open to the unexpected. Change is always hard, but when you hold tightly to your future plans and paint a picture in your mind of how you want your life to play out, unexpected bumps in the road will be difficult to handle. I know many of you are planners and that's a good thing - plan away, but remember that plans can change because life doesn't always bend to our will.
4. You'll Appreciate the Smaller Stuff
Living in the moment is actually a meditative practice. It allows you to take in all the little moments that make life beautiful. When your mind and actions are focused on redeeming the past or shaping the future, you will inevitably miss out on the magic of the present. Each day that I'm not rushing out the door allows me to memorize my sweet son's face - his laughter, smile, the way he talks, what interests him, and how much he loves me and wants to spend time with me. When i'm not presently focused, I miss out on these simple pleasures that will soon be gone.
5. You'll Learn What's Really Important
The most important things in life are not things you can buy but what enriches your life. Family, friends, enchanting music, words of wisdom, peace of heart - these are things to cherish; not the things happened to you in the past, what mistakes you made or what fears you have of your future. Find out what's really important to you and make it a priority today to live for it!
6. Your Relationships Will Be Healthier
Being present-minded also means being more mentally aware of what's going on around you. You'll listen more to your friends and family, be more in-tune with the happenings of others, and in general, you'll have healthier relationships because you'll actually be experiencing life instead of letting it pass you by.
7. You'll Be Happier!
Most of all, if you strive to live in the present moment, you'll simply be happier overall. You will be more decisive and have greater peace when you practice being present-minded. What currently is, is worth your time and energy, not what was, or what could be. As someone who once looked to each phase of my life, not being satisfied with where I was at but always looking ahead to the next stage, I can say that I wasn't as happy as I am now. It's definitely important to think about how you want your future to look and how your current way of living will reflect your vision someday - however, hold your plans loosely because life may throw you a curve ball!
It may seem out of the ordinary to live in the present and be focused solely on what's happing today because we are time-driven people. Remember to have mindfulness of what the next week, month or year holds, but focus your mental energy on each day as it comes and you'll be surprised at how much more centered, clear-minded and productive you are! Have any of you experienced the difference between being present-minded compared to focusing on the past or future?