Sometimes we spend so much time rehashing the past or preparing for the future that we forget to savor the present moment.
Learning how to stay in the present is so important. Anticipating a future event is exciting, but the most treasured times are when we live fully in the moment. Often the most memorable experiences are those unplanned moments that catch you OFF GUARD.
There is a saying I use quite often: “This is how memories are made.”
Often, it takes something out of the ordinary to make a solid impression on us. When something occurs that’s different from our day-to-day routine, it fixes itself firmly in our memory.
What is the relationship to Weight Control?
Simply put, sometimes we concentrate so heavily on what the future holds in our weight control adventure that we forget to live in the moment of some special event. Recently a friend of mine had more than a few events hit her back to back. Each event was special and required her focus, yet she was riddled with concern of what the future would hold with regard to her weight after each event.
Special events occur once in a great while. They should be savored and shared with family and dear friends. I encouraged my friend to enjoy the moment, regardless of what her weight might be after the occasion.
What do we gain when we fret about what the future and what may or may not occur? The truth is that we live our lives moment to moment. All we have control over is what is happening RIGHT NOW. As we live each moment, we can only do our best to ensure we live each one fully. When we treasure what is happening in THIS moment, the rest will take care of itself.
After years of anticipating the future, learning to live mindfully, moment to moment can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you develop the habit of savoring the moment:
Practice meditation – I am not talking about religious fanaticism here. What meditation means to me is a time of quiet reflection on what is happening in the now. Let’s say you’re in the middle of some unique experience and all of a sudden you begin wondering whether you left the coffee pot on. Or if you locked your front door. Or you start fixating on whether what you ate for lunch is going to cause you to gain a few pounds. When you let “what if” thoughts run rampant in your mind, you are letting your mind take you out of the experience of the moment.
When you notice your mind hopping around like a monkey, don’t worry. Simply bring your thoughts back to what is happening at the moment. Each time your mind wanders, bring it back gently. Don’t focus on why it wandered in the first place.
Create your own moments – It is really hard NOT to live in the moment when you’re experiencing something exciting. Why not take a walk during sunset? Or get up early so you can enjoy a cup of coffee while you watch the sunrise? Or why not make plans for a night with your dear friends?
Make the excitement about the experience rather than whatever food or drink might be around.
Use your senses – Focus on your environment through your senses when exciting things are happening. What does the moment smell like? What does your skin feel like? What sounds are you hearing? Savor every aspect of your environment. Concentrate on the surroundings of the event rather than what food or drink is being prepared or served.
Keep a journal – Carry a notebook with you to record precious moments you experience. This will help your mind to focus on the moment rather than the memory of the moment. Journals also help you reflect on your experience later. Use the journal to record foods that you might have eaten just so that you have data available at your disposal to decide whether something worked for you or not.
The bottom line is this: We live our lives moment to moment. When you allow your mind to worry about what already happened yesterday, or what might transpire tomorrow, you miss out on NOW.
And NOW is where the good stuff of your life is.