One of my favorite Beatles, George Harrison, really nailed it when talking about focusing on the present:
“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
As a music mom, this advice is so important to hear – and follow. The thoughtful Beatle’s words are a timely reminder to be mindful and honor the present moment. Not only is it the right thing to do for those around us, but here are 5 ways in which living in the present greatly improves your mental health and general well-being:
You stop living life on autopilot. I hate when I feel as though I’m simply going through the motions in life. The cool part is that folks who embrace the present rarely go through the motions. Their existence is chock full of intentional living. The result is that they often experience days that are meaningful and fulfilling. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
You realize that you are so much more than your thoughts. I know that for me, it’s all too easy for my thoughts to take complete control over my life. Unfortunately, it’s just as easy to let those thoughts shape the way we see ourselves, the people around us, and the world at large.
When you focus on the present, all that self-harming judgment simply fades away. Rather than worrying nonstop about what you’ve said or done, you begin to fully understand and appreciate your thoughts.
You avoid the cycle of procrastination. Procrastination typically happens when we want things to be perfect, or we feel overwhelmed. I know for me, sometimes when the thought of completing a daunting project seems impossible, I avoid it altogether. Not good.
Being mindfully present helps you take things one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ve put a dent in that seemingly insurmountable task and you feel proud because of it.
A mindful approach to living helps create healthy boundaries. Being present lets you set time and energy boundaries. This frees you from wasting valuable time worrying about the past and future. All of us experience troubles at some point in life, but mindful people construct healthy boundaries that keep these negative things from ruining the here and now.
Embracing the present is so incredibly good for your psychological health. Learning how to live in the present does wonders for your psychological health. Psychology Today sums it up perfectly:
“Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces depression, binge eating, and attention problems.”
Living in the present is often a challenge, but the mental and emotional benefits described above make it so worth it.