The Present Moment…

They saying goes, that if we want to be happy and feel good, we need to remain inthe present moment.  Just this very moment, nothing else.  No Past or Future, no tomorrow or next hour, etc.  That is the secret in DBT, dialectical behavior therapy, which I did for 3 years straight.  The reason we don’t remember things, is because we do not pay attention to each present moment and what we are doing at that time.  It requires you to completely and only focus on right now…

Say you are sitting in a chair, you would describe to yourself exactly what you are doing right then.  “I am sitting in my chair, my legs are bent, I can hear birds chirping, I hear a car driving by, and so on!  The actual present moment.  The same applies to every thing we do. Washing dishes, focus on only that!  The problem is, I keep forgetting to be in the present moment…

We can only do the best we can.  I seem to have to constantly remind myself to just be in today, this hour, this minute.  Do not worry about anything else.  What will be, will be.  Go with the flow and flow with what may come.  It is a daily struggle for me.  Why does it have to be this difficult?  

For me, I have found my mental well being is effected by clutter and messiness.  So, every single day that my body allows me to, I do basic chores.  I feel like I can breathe better too.  I have to complete what I want done in a 2-3 hour window, after that my body won’t allow anything else to be done.  I have found I struggle every single day, in the evening, with depression.  When I have to sit with all the pillows and I try to focus on a TV show or movie.  If only my body would let me do more, to occupy my mind.  I feel down and ever so alone in the evening…

I do the best when I can keep my mind busy.  Living with Panic & Anxiety Disorders, I have become a hermit.  In order to keep my levels down, I avoid people and places when ever possible.  It took me years to figure out many of my triggers and years to stop paying attention to time.  Now I am stuck home even if I wanted to go somewhere, my vehicle died back in 2015, I have no way to fix it.  I also, am unable to eat healthy (which can help), since I have to eat an entire month and get what the household needs on $200!  Oh crap, this is what happens, the stress…forgetting the present moment…focusing on the chaos of my so called life…

It would be nice to have a friend just to even talk to once a week.  Someone to do something with even.  My so called boyfriend, that lives in WI, barely even talks to me anymore.  He lost his job and is dealing with depression, which I understand.  I don’t understand barely talking to me when he is the one that came after me, insisted we were the same and made promises he is not keeping.  Why do men do this crap?  Can anyone be a man of their word?  I am open and talk about everything, he insisted he was too, then why not talk to me about things?  So, he got my hopes up and then ripped the rug out from under me…………

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Being in the Here & Now…

One thing we must learn is how to be in the present moment.  This takes practice!  For a while, the mind will keep bringing up thoughts of the past or even the future.  The past is over and cannot be changed.  The future has not happened.  

Each day, take what ever time you possibly can to practice being mindful.  In the present moment.  Start by doing three deep and slow cleansing breaths.  Relax your body!  Then, just pay attention to what is going on right now!  Involving your five senses.  What do you hear?  What do you see?  What do you smell?  What do you taste?  What do you feel?  

Every time a thought of past or future pops into your mind, acknowledge that thought, then tell yourself that is the past or has not happened yet and return to being in the present moment.  At first, your mind will bring up thoughts a lot!  Be persistent, you can over come those thoughts.  After all, your are the one in control of yourself.  

You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to and with practice.  We are beautiful creatures of the light/love.  After I almost died and had to have a very large surgery to save my life, I had no balance or muscle left in my body.  I took it one day at a time and I would spend a few minutes just trying to stand on one foot.  At first, I had to hold on to a chair, but after a while I was able to let go of the chair and finally, I could stand on one foot for a long time.  This is true for anything you want to obtain.  Start small and give it your best each and every day!  There is nothing you cannot do!

Here is an exercise for when you feel down, that I have found to be helpful.  Look in the mirror, smile at yourself!  Smiling actually releases chemicals in the brain that help us feel better and looking at yourself as you force a smile on your face is pretty funny!  The next thing you know, you are smiling without even trying to smile.  

Starting your day on a positive loving note is the best way to begin.  Be sure you get enough sleep!  Take in at least three deep and slow breaths to cleanse your body.  Think of things you are grateful for and say them out loud!  Still feeling down?  Go to the mirror and smile at yourself!  Exercise is also a great way to release feel good chemicals in the body.  If you have never exercised before, then just do some slow stretches or even basic yoga poses.  Taking a walk is one of the best ways to get exercise into your life.  I think walking is the number one form of exercise.  Try to take in those three deep slow breaths several times a day.  Be sure to practice being in the present moment!  You will not be disappointedly!  It is amazing what happens after you practice this on a daily basis and you get past the thoughts from popping up in your mind.  Nature is an amazing and beautiful place…………

  

Mindfulness Exercise…

Being mindful is a way to open up and explore the right here and right now. We go through life looking forward or behind us and rarely do we stop and see what is right this moment.

Find a few minutes to yourself somewhere that you will not be disturbed. I like to do this outside. I know how difficult it can be to find time to yourself where no one will bother you. I often have the early morning when I wake up to my self, while everyone is still sleeping.

Sit comfortably and take three slow, deep breaths to cleanse your body. Slowly draw up the breath and fill your lungs completely and then slowly release the breath. I like to count while I do this, so I release the breath for the same count that I inhaled the breath too.

Now, close your eyes and just listen. What do you hear? Identify the noises you hear. Is it a bird or a dog? Do you hear the leaves moving in the wind? Just listen and notice every single thing you can hear. Maybe you hear the children next door playing or a car starting up. Listen closely and identify each sound you hear. You are in the moment, right now, this very moment. You hear what is happening right now. This is being mindful!

Next, you open your eyes and look around you. What do you see? I see a tree with very deep green leaves on it. Identify everything that you can see. Say the name of the item and what color it is. You are being right here in this very moment. Our minds tend to race through everything. Take your time to look at each thing individually and teach your mind to slow down. We miss so much of what is around us every day of our lives, because we are not in that very moment and seeing or hearing what is happening right then and there.

When you go to eat your next meal, be mindful! Slowly take a bite and really taste and feel the food. Notice the texture and flavors. Smell the food and identify each smell you notice. Savor the flavor of each bite.

Some people are very good at being mindful. Those are the people that can give a detailed description of someone, right down to the shoes they were wearing. I spent years training myself to not see people around me, so I could go to the store and not have panic attacks. Now, I could not tell you who was in the store and what they were wearing. When I was beat by a gang in my front yard, I could not identify any of them. I literally can go into a store and not notice a single person there. I did this to protect myself from my horrible panic attacks, but I also stripped away being mindful and in the moment.

Practicing being mindful helps us slow down our thoughts and focus on one thing at a time. You can expand on this by going one step further and paying attention to what you feel. Starting at your feet and slowly moving up through your body. What do you feel in your feet? Are the cold? Do they hurt? We can identify where a pain is coming from when we practice being mindful. Sometimes it feels like a pain is in a totally different place then where it really is coming from. Work your way slowly up through your entire body. Now you are being mindful of your body. After I do this at my head, I then explore the emotions I am feeling. I write down each emotion I can identify and then I try to figure out why I am feeling each one of those emotions. We often feel so many different emotions that it is hard to identify exactly what we are feeling and why.

It is simple to practice being mindful, yet we rarely ever do it. We are so rushed through our days and what we need to get done. Do it for yourself! Even if you can only find time for it once a week, give it a real shot! Being mindful also helps us experience happiness fully………….

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Being in the NOW…….

What is our complete reality? The here and the Now! There is no past, no future, only what is here right this moment. Anxiety increases when I think of the past or the future. Both are no existent to right now. One has already occurred and the other has not. So what we have is only this very moment and then it is gone and we are in this very moment again. Dwelling on the past definitely effect us emotionally. Worrying about the future, definitely effects us emotionally. So how do you just live in the here and now? Well, you have to focus on what actual is right now. Right now I am typing a blog post. Right now, I am wiggling my feet. Right now, I am seeing all the things around me in this very room. Right now, is the only reality we know. Pay attention to everything right now! Learning to focus on the here and now is vital in feeling balanced emotionally. Of course, this is going to take work. We have spent our entire adult lives living in the past or the future. Children live in the here and now. The don’t think about yesterday and they are not worried about tomorrow. Animals also live in the here and now. They know that right now, they feel hungry, so they hunt for food. Or right now, they are tired so they lay down and sleep. Humans are the only species that live their lives through time. Time, tick tock goes the clock. Humans are always in a hurry or they feel they do not have enough time. Why? Time is always spinning on no matter what you do or say. You cannot control time. Though, you can learn to live a life without time being an issue.

We humans tend to constantly think of everything except the here and now. Appointments, plans, deadlines and past issues. The only thing that even really matters is right now. Life can change in a blink of an eye. You only have right this moment, nothing else is guaranteed. So, why don’t we live in the here and now, like we are supposed too? Time…… Time is the reason why. We either do not feel we have enough time or we feel we have too much time on our hands. Many years ago, I discovered, that time played a huge role in my panic disorder. I had to teach myself to not live life according to time. The world runs on time though and when you have an appointment to see your doctor you are forced to live with time. However, once I was able to just post my appointment in my schedule and learned to not think about it, I found my anxiety eased up greatly. After several months of working on removing time from my life, I was able to feel less anxiety and much less panic. You are not allowed to completely remove time from your life though. Due to appointments alone, you must live somewhat according to time. What I figure out, was that I could not worry about an appointment until the day prior to it. I check my schedule every morning when I wake to see what I have for the current day and what is coming tomorrow. That way I know if I have an appointment and if I have to adjust myself according to time. I removed the week long anxiety roller coaster by doing this and brought it down to a 24 hour period instead. Honestly, I know I could be much calmer if time would just never be an issue for me. So we learn to adjust and find ways to make life more livable where we can. Many people feel that a schedule is the best way to a happy life, but I do not agree. For me, a schedule means my life is run by time. I do the best when time has nothing to do with my life.

Children play in the here and now! We loose that as we get older and are taught that we must live according to time. When you were a child, you did not know you had to go to the doctor until your mother was taking you. When you felt hungry, you would tell your mother and get something to eat. Every single thing was in the here and now. We are taught to look past everything that is right here in front of us and focus on what is about to happen or occur. I want to be like I was as a child. I want my life to be completely about the here and now. So, right now, I feel like laying down and that is exactly what I am going to do!