- Do you ever find yourself wishing the month away?
- Does it sometimes feel like you’re delaying living to the full until after a certain event or busy period?
- Do you wish you didn’t start so many Mondays with a slightly queasy ‘if I can just get through this week…’ feeling?
A client of mine recently asked me for some help getting past a particularly busy time at work. She wanted help managing her stress, but I couldn’t help picking up on the phrase, “getting past”. So, as well as talking about all the things she might do to relieve her stress (e.g. night-time ritual to aid sleep, regular not-too-strenuous exercise, eating properly, realistic diary management etc.), we also talked at length about ‘being in the now’.
Now is all we have. While our minds are whirring around something that happened in the past or frantically playing over something that might happen in the future, we’re missing out on what’s right here. Our present. This moment. And this one.
It seems a shame to be “getting past” a busy day, week or month when — and pardon me for being dramatic and a bit depressing — we might be dead tomorrow. Whilst I don’t relish asking my clients to think about being hit by a bus in an untimely fashion, it can help their focus snap to the present.
Deep breathing, meditation, looking at nature, EFT ‘tapping’ — whether we have 20 seconds or 20 minutes — can all help us to simple mindfulness of the present moment.
Be mindful. When things are getting stressful, or you’re feeling unfulfilled, stop for a minute. Notice what’s going on right now. Take a couple of breaths. If you can, sit quietly, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Focus on its sensation coming in and going out of your body. Then direct your attention to whatever it is you’re doing. Whether you’re running a team meeting, writing a report, playing with the kids or reading a trashy novel, be 100% present. What do you notice?
There is lots of fascinating information out there on ‘being in the now’ (e.g. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now), so I urge you to do a little research and find something that works for you.