ThinkKit asked me today what was the best piece of advice I received this year? I think the best piece of advice I received was to live in the present. As someone who has been a worst case scenario person filled with anxious thoughts, this advice made me step back and enjoy what is around me instead of being stuck in my own head. I really have taken this advice to heart. When the crocuses bloomed in late March, I went outside and just stood there, looking at them for 10 minutes. I told myself I was going to stand there and let myself enjoy the flowers I was seeing and focus on how beautiful they were. The first couple minutes, my mind was screaming all different thoughts, "Jenn: you need to go in and do laundry, how much money is in the bank account, has Raven been fed enough today, did I email that person back, what do I make for dinner, is it going to rain tonight, why is my head hurting, why is this person so rude?" Then I consciously said, "STOP" to those thoughts and made myself stand there and just look at the flowers, appreciating them for what they were.
This piece of advice has helped me tremendously when I feel the stress devils sneaking up on me. I latch my mind onto what positive things are going on around me and embrace them for what they are like my daughter's laughter, a hug, a funny social media post, nice weather, a good hair day, etc. It's really incredible how you can rewire your brain's way of thinking when you quit worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. The present, and what is positive about what is around will ease your mind considerably. Since I started this mindful meditation if you will, I would describe my life as having more good days than bad days. When I have bad days, I accept it for what it is if I cannot change something and tell myself it's not forever. Not all good days last forever either so that's why enjoying the present is so important.
I truly feel like once I started focusing on things and not be stuck in my head of worry, I found so many beautiful things I hadn't even noticed before. I still think I have a lot of work to do at being peaceful and content, but I'm a lot different than I used to be thanks to this great piece of advice that I decided to take seriously.
Next time you feel like your mind is a roller coaster of negative emotions, take a mental time out and appreciate one good thing around you. Live in the present.