One of the fastest way to stop any feeling of happiness in its track is to worry. We worry about things that have not happened yet, and we worry about things in the past that we can do nothing about. It is sad to think about how many happy moments we are missing out on because we are too worried about the past or the future.
One of the solutions to living a happier and more content life is to learn to live in the moment. You do not want to miss all the amazing little things life has in store for you because you are too busy worrying and agonizing about things that are outside of your control. The goal then for a happier life is to learn to live in the moment.
Start by simply paying attention to what is going on around you right now. Enjoy the people you are spending time with. Treasure the conversations and interactions you have with them. Look around you and notice the beauty in your surroundings. Each season brings new natural phenomena that can help you stay in the moment and make you happy. Notice how the light filters through the colourful leaves on a crisp fall day. Treasure the first few green sprouts at the end of winter. Laugh with your kids and play in the first snow of winter. Bask in the sun and look at how the light plays over the water on a sizzling summer day. Each day, each season, and each year has amazing treasures to offer if you take the time to stay in the moment and notice them.
Slow down and do not be afraid to stop and smell the roses. If you find yourself slipping back into your old ways of worrying about things you cannot change, remind yourself to stop and instead focus on something pretty in your surroundings. It does not matter what it is. The idea is to train your mind to live in the moment instead of the past or the future.
Does this mean you have to stop all plotting and planning for the future? Does it mean that you should not look back on the past and learn from it? Of course not. Those are both important parts of life. There are times to plan a vacation, figure out what groceries we need for the week, or plot a move or job change in the future. Those are productive ways to look ahead. Along the same lines, there are times when we should look back on the past. Maybe we can right a wrong, improve on things, or if nothing else learn from them. That is important as well. What is not important or productive is to dwell on the past or future events and worrying about things we cannot change. Whenever that happens stop yourself and focus on the present. It will not take you long to get out of the habit of worrying about things outside of your control. That, in turn, gives you more time and energy to focus on what truly matters.