Let’s say today is a good day.
The sun shines brightly and the sky looks clear blue with tiny and sheer clouds up there. There is no black cloud that makes you think it’s going to rain. Here, today, now, you are sitting but your mind walks around everywhere, looking back on the past and predicting the future. But sometimes, you tend to think about the bad memories that were left behind in the past and a scary future that you really want to avoid. It’s like rainy clouds start moving towards you when actually you are surrounded by such beautiful weather. And so, your good day turns into an unhappy one.
Sometimes, you are thinking about your faults in the past time. Probably you’re recalling that time when you treated your friends badly until you two ended up fighting each other. You keep feeling sorry about that and start to feel guilty. What to remember is that past events had been done and are irreversible, no matter how badly you want to change them.
At other times, you are wondering about the future. What kind of job could I get? Will I get this through the semester very well? When can I be successful like Jack Ma, whose advice is accepted by everyone? In the end, we let the universe takes part in creating our future. It can be easier or worse because it’s unpredictable.
Pondering too much about our past and future can often make us anxious. There is one solution to overcome this: by being present. Being present means you focus on what you are doing right at the moment wholly. Realize that your body is here now and so is your mind. Say, now you are sitting in the park. You can enjoy the scenery up in the sky, feel the wind touches your skin and the sound it makes. If your mother tells you to water the garden, you should enjoy the beauty of the flowers’ colors and the music of dropping waters. You should avoid thinking about what you are going to do after and many other over-thoughts because it means you won’t be able to appreciate the present moment.
Being present also needs regular exercise. Take a deep breath every time your negative thoughts fill you with pain. Pay attention to the one thing you are currently doing. Notice every moment, like how you respond to it, the sensation, and each move you do. This routine will build your inner bell, serving as a reminder to go back to the present. It helps you to perform better, even in the most stressful moment because it calms you down. You won’t yell at your mother because she tells you to garden even when you are lazy. With being present, you can find enjoyable things in the dropping of water and colorful flowers.
Learning from the past is still needed. We also have to set long term goals and predict future obstacles so that we can not only imagine but also work to realize what we are in the future. The problem is that we tend to overthink and let it disturbs us. When the body is here but the mind goes around everywhere, we can never find a peaceful place even within ourselves. When this happens, all you have to do is ring the bell to be present physically and mentally.
Formica, M. J. (2011, 14). 5 steps for being present. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/enlightened-living/201106/5-steps-being-present
Knowlegism. (2014, October 29). Benefits of being present. KNOWLEDGISM. Retrieved from https://knowledgism.com/presence/benefits-of-being-present/?v=b718adec73e0
Zen Habits. (n.d.). The amazing power of being present : Zen habits. Zen habits. Retrieved from https://zenhabits.net/mindful/