Focusing on this present moment can give you peace beyond words. You have fewer perceived problems and respond more harmoniously to stressful events and people. Practicing mindfulness increases your attitude of gratitude. Your greatest point of power is in this moment.
You have less perceived problems.
An old man at the end of his life was asked what he would have done differently. He said among other things, “I’d have more real problems and less perceived problems.” In this moment, I will be so bold as to say, you don’t have a real problem. You are alive and breathing and there are no tigers at your door. There is nothing to fear in this moment. How much time do you waste worrying and trying to resolve problems that might not occur or that you couldn’t possible resolve today? Plan what can be planned for today, then be done with it and get on with what’s in front of you.
You have less stress
Your future is the mind’s fantasy and your memories are an interpretation, not an exact replica of the past, as we’d like to believe. There’s nothing real there, so fearing the future and regretting the past causes unnecessary stress. Resisting what is or comparing this time with another imagined time causes stress especially if you can’t change anything right now. Acceptance of this moment brings peace.
Helps you Handle discomfort
If you can’t possibly stand this moment, because you have intense pain or are trying to get through the wave of a craving, distraction therapy can be helpful. However moving your attention towards the discomfort can also bring relief and make you stronger in the long run. You can stand your own feelings. Be present with the pain. Breathe into it. Be fully conscious of it as best you can. Practicing this with attitudes of acceptance – right now it’s like this, and impermanence – this too shall pass, moves you through the pain quicker.
Your presence improves relationships
How good do you feel when you get home and your pet’s total focus is on you? Not on how much you earned today or what you’ll do tomorrow, but on you and you alone. What if you acted as if the most important thing is the person who is right before you in this moment?
You add to world peace
Peace within creates peace without. You know when you walk into a room and someone is agitated you can start to feel scared or agitated yourself. What usually happens? The tension increases and all hell breaks loose. Imagine the same scenario….You walk into the same room, feeling blissful, cool as a cucumber, staying present and attentive to this moment. You think clearly about your communication and respond effectively. Often the other person starts to settle down, don’t they? They start to match your emotional state. You’re contributing to world peace via the ripple effect.
How to practice being in the present moment
There are lots of tools to bring you to this moment including this simple exercise:
Notice what is in this present moment.
4 things you see
3 things you can touch
2 things you can hear
1 sensation you can feel inside your body
Be with this experience for a few minutes.
Now, how do you feel? Can you feel a sense of peacefulness? Is there an underlying joy for no good reason? This is the present moment.
What could be more peaceful than enjoying the moment you’re in for what it’s worth? Just being here and now accepting and maybe even appreciating what living has to offer you at this time.
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it”, says Sharon Salzberg, author and teacher of Buddhist mediation practices.
Your life is now, in this very moment.