Blog Post

Strive to Stay Present

October 31, 2014

Kris Drake, RN, CHPD
“Happiness, not in another place but this place … not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman

I think we have all found ourselves looking to a future event or accomplishment to make us happy. We may think that losing that last 10 pounds or making more money will make us happy, but the truth is that happiness isn't dependent on a future situation. Rather, it can be found in the here and now.

As adults, how do we learn to come back to the present moment when our thoughts begin to wander? We can begin by watching kids play. Children are absorbed in the present moment and think only of playing they’re playing. They become so involved in their activity that a parent may have to remind them it's time to come in and eat dinner.

Try practicing mindfulness when you wake up. Bring mindfulness to your routine activities – pay attention when you are brushing your teeth or eating your breakfast. Use all of your senses to experience things that normally take place while you are on autopilot. Notice the smell of coffee brewing or the beautiful fall colors of the leaves on the trees. You may be surprised by things you see on your way to work that you never noticed before.

Another way to bring mindfulness to your day is to practice while you are waiting in line. Instead of being frustrated because the line isn't moving fast enough, slow down and concentrate on your breathing. Let your thoughts and feelings of impatience be replaced with a sense of peace in the moment.

Set aside a few minutes each day to just be in the moment. Let your thoughts go where they want to go. You may even want to sit outside or sit by a window to see the beauty around you. Don’t miss another moment of happiness.