by Lila Lazarus
The end of summer? Are you kidding me? It happens every year but somehow always catches me by surprise. I can’t stop thinking: “Where did the summer go? How are kids already going back to school? Is that a chill I feel in the air?” I’m creating a feeling of impending doom in my gut. I start imagining the misery of scraping frost off the windshield. My mind starts to wander.
But not this year. This year, I’m trying something new—and you may want to try it with me. I’m making use of a superpower we all have. I’m staying right here in this moment. We spend so much time worrying about things to come. And it gets us nowhere. It just steals the magic of the moment. Our bodies may be rooted in the present, but our heads are hijacked and time travel into another place entirely. A wandering mind can lead to anxiety and misery. When I don’t stay in the date on the calendar, my head often fills with negativity. So, I’m celebrating this day by staying right here in the present moment without needless worries. If you’d like to join me in this moment, here are simple ways to stay right here right now without worry.
Take a breath. It’s your built-in, come-to-the-present-moment device. And it’s available 24/7. Take a full, deep breath in. And then, slowly, let it out. If you focus on your breath you can’t regret something you missed out on in the past or get rattled about something in your future. The breath is always happening NOW.
Come to your senses. Make use of your ears, eyes, nose, mouth and skin. Your senses can stop you from ruminating. They take you out of your head and into this moment. Ask yourself, what do you hear? Can you smell anything? Breathe in an essential oil. Notice something in the room. Take a bite of something and really taste it. Pet your dog. Grab a strand of hair. Notice how things feel to the touch. Your senses, like your breath, are always in the present moment. Open your eyes and notice what is all around you. If you feel your mind wandering or filling with a negative thought, come back to your senses.
Think about Someone Else. When we think about ourselves, we often move to the past or the future and fill ourselves with regrets or worries. We stress about what we have or have not done. Thinking about ourselves can lead to misery. So, think about someone else. When you’re thinking of others and serving others, your mind isn’t changing time zones. And even if no one’s around, take a moment to think happy thoughts about someone who makes you smile.
Set your alarm. Staying present doesn’t come naturally. You actually have to remind yourself to do it. Throw post-it notes all over the place. Put reminders in your phone. Yes, the same smart phone that takes you out of the present moment can be used to reel you back in. When the alarm goes off, just take a breath. Notice your senses. Get out of your own way. Use these reminders as a quick way to travel back to this moment.
Doing this will lead to more happiness, more productivity, more creativity. Joy lives in the present moment. The end of summer can feel just as good as the start of summer – but you must be present to win.
Lila’s Health Report:
In order to stay healthy, you need to stay active and engaged. In addition to exercise, good nutrition and sleep, you also need a good dose of adventure. So each month I’ll share ways to boost the excitement and passion in your life with adventurous ways to create more wellness in your body, mind and your spirit.