Everyone has an idea – a plan of some sort – of how they want their future to pan out. While having goals and ambitions is essential, it can be entirely too easy to get caught up in the mindset of “my life will be great when such and such happens.” When I get that dream job, meet a certain person, buy this or do that. I was very much in that mindset until this year, when I developed some health problems (both physical and mental) and became extremely anxious at the thought of the future. In order to regain happiness, and not be paralyzed by fear and function on a day-to-day basis, I had to learn to become more mindful, to live in the now and be thankful for the life I have.
Some things that helped me:
Cutting down on multitasking - Everyone is so busy, and while multitasking seems like the time-saving answer, wanting to do everything can sometimes become so overwhelming that we end up doing nothing. Hello procrastination.
Celebrating life's little moments - In the midst of life, it's hard to stop and appreciate the little things that make you happy. When I remember to do so, I’ll write something that made me happy onto a notecard and put it in a jar. My recent ones have been: getting a new job, getting back a good test result, sitting on the patio and reading for an afternoon, my new tattoo, meditating for 20 minutes, and having a successful birthday celebration.
Pushing yourself to do new things - Our comfort zones are just that: comfortable. But, at the end of the day, trying new things will always be beneficial, because even if you didn’t enjoy that particular thing you can still enjoy the fact that you pushed yourself, and if you do end up loving said thing, that’s a bonus!
Become observant of the world around you - Even going to the places you always go, you’re bound to notice something you normally don’t if you take the time to look around, use your senses, and think about things you’ve seen.
Writing, writing, writing - It’s cliche. Every mindfulness publication on Earth will tell you how beneficial journaling is, but it truly does help me. My mind feels like it’s going a million miles a minute sometimes, and just getting thoughts down on paper or in a doc, no matter how jumbled, upsetting, or ridiculous they may seem, helps me work towards a feeling of inner peace.