In our fast-paced world, it’s ridiculously easy for our minds to be scattered. Our brains are incredible, problem-solving machines and, if we let them, they’ll jump from one task or problem to the next, without taking a moment to pause.
Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with that mental efficiency. It has undoubtedly served me well over my life. But there is also tremendous beauty and value in the ability to take that pause and be fully present in the moment.
Today, was a day that I can say I was fully present and that mindfulness brought me so much joy, which is obviously why it’s my happy thought.
What does it mean to be fully present? To me, it means giving all of your attention to what’s happening in the moment. In doing so, you’re able to recognize, appreciate, and contribute to the little details that make up a moment or series of moments.
Here are some simple observations that came from being more mindful today:
- During my run this morning, I found myself paying attention to my muscles and breathing. I felt proud and powerful as I recognized them working hard but still going.
- In my post-run stretch, I realized how much I really LOVE stretching after a run and giving those muscles a break, something that I used to have very little patience for.
- In a discussion with my husband, I truly listened to what he was saying, rather than assuming I knew what he’d say, and we had a wonderful conversation.
- After eating healthy all day I found myself reflecting on how great I felt physically.
Having all of these observations makes me realize how much I want to do all these things more. Being present gives me a satisfying result even after a relatively small action. Which raises an interesting question:
How much more likely would we be to stick with challenging actions (ex: eating healthy, listening respectfully to others, etc.) if we could find joy in those individual actions rather than the benefit we’re seeking down the road (ex: losing weight, building unity, etc.)?
It makes me realize how impactful being present can really be. Amazing!
If you’re reading this and think you’d like to try being more present or mindful but you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips:
- It sometimes takes practice, especially if you’re used to moving a mile a minute.
- It can be helpful to set your intention in advance so that you’re actively focusing your thoughts.
- Oftentimes just slowing down and taking a breath can bring you more into the moment.
Hopefully your attempts bring you to as many joyful moments as mine have.
For now, though, what’s your happy thought for today?