Let me start by asking you a question. Just today, how much time do you think you have spent thinking about your past? An hour? Maybe more?
Perhaps you’re more of a fortune teller type and prefer to spend your thoughts on predicting imaginary outcomes.
Either way, a 2010 study by Harvard University showed that you are more than likely doing one of these two things instead of living in the present moment of your life. The study found that people spend nearly half their time (46.7% of it to be exact) thinking about something other than what they are actually doing.
The study also showed that people were happiest when they were ‘in the moment’ and the least happy when they spent their time daydreaming and lamenting.
Ok. So we need to be present to be happy. But how does being ‘present’ improve your life?
It changes your relationship towards yourself.
When we are constantly filling our minds with thoughts about the past or present we create stress, anxiety and sadness where there could be peace. When you remove this incessant thinking you allow space in your mind, you give yourself an opportunity to know yourself separate from your thoughts.
It changes your relationship to others.
When you stop thinking about the past or future and allow yourself to be present within yourself, you naturally then become better at being present with others. When you are present you become a much better listener. You learn to really listen rather than just waiting to respond.
You allow life to be as it is.
As well as feeling happier, less stressed and having better relationships, when you become present in your life you learn to allow life to be as it is, rather than how you think it should be. Being present means letting go of the need to control and label everything which, for most people, is a monumental relief.
Your life exists right here, right now in the present moment. Don’t lose a second more of it by thinking about somewhere other than where you are.