We spend so much time living in the past and the future that we forget we're alive right here, right now. This can be one of the most unhealthy habits of all. Stress is a silent killer — living in a constant state of fight or flight, as if everything is an emergency, will lead to heart disease, IBS, chronic fatigue and more. Staying distracted and away from the present moment is a nasty habit, and can be just as addictive as a drug. But fortunately, it's one of the easiest habits to break.
With a simple shift from there, to here, you can save your life. From then, to now. If you become aware. If you notice.
For some, this can be frightening. We often keep ourselves numb and distracted in order to shove down and swallow feelings that we aren't yet ready to recognize and accept. Living in the present moment will force us to come in contact with those feelings — but only for a moment. They rise, we feel them, then they pass. After that, it's nothing but calm, and quiet. Life is a still lake. We begin to find beauty in things once unseen. There's no stress. No anxiety. Because here, in the moment, there's truly nothing to worry about. It's all good.
So, how can you change your life in 60 seconds?
The first step is to stop what you're doing, and close your eyes.
Breathe deeply. Practice 4-7-8 breathing, if you'd like. Now, tune into your senses. Rub your fingertips together and try to feel each cell of the sensitive skin as they touch. Listen to the quiet rush of breath as it flows in through your nose. Hear the wind pushing the leaves outside. Taste the roof of your mouth. Smell the sweetness in the air. Then, open your eyes. Welcome to the present moment. See NOW for all that it is. Recognize the folks that are around you, living their own present moment. Smile at them. Nod. Find gratitude for the subtle slowing of time. Hold onto this. Let it last.
The more often that you visit the present moment, the better your day will be. You'll wake up and smile. You'll remember to eat breakfast. You'll wave at the other drivers on the road, rather than honking.
You can think of this practice as adjusting the focus on the camera lens of your life. Often, we travel through our day with the settings all wrong and the lens fogged up. It's blurry, and nearly impossible to focus on the present moment. But if you can take 60 seconds to slow down, turn the lens gently, and find that sweet spot, you will feel infinitely better. The fog lifts. Your health improves.
Changing your life is simple. Of course, there are many elements that will take time and patience, like cleaning up your diet and healing your relationships. But living a more mindful life is attainable. In 60 seconds, you can stress less, breathe easier, and slow down. It's within your grasp, I promise.