My darlings, breathe, and breathe deeply, because 2017 is behind us, and we have we’ve entered a new year‒may it be full of variety and all that is well. It’s a time to take charge and consider the positive habits and also the mistakes we’ve made, in order to learn from them, of course. And to move on. While December is usually a time of vows, January may be the right time to decide to change some habits or continue to follow the right way, if we happen to already be on one. The biggest problem is that our minds stay too focused on the future and not enough on the present; this constant projection in time is not only tiring, but also utterly useless. We should gather our thoughts and bring them back to the present moment, which is considered the key to a good life and internal happiness.
Being online all the time probably has a lot to do with it becoming harder for us to stay in the now. The world keeps bombarding us with external stimuli, which makes it harder to remain calm, so we become increasingly afraid of being alone, being in silence. At the same time, we forget that solitude and silence are key ingredients for inner growth. Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp are not our friends, far from it, they’re like a drug, which seduces us into forgetting the real life. That’s a fact. All of this has made the present moment an almost unattainable luxury. What can we do to live a better life in 2018 and be happier? I’ve selected some advice for you.
I can become quite skeptical, when I hear this word; I’ll admit, I’m not exactly a person who meditates, it seems like such a waste of time, when I imagine sitting cross-legged in an empty room for a whole hour, which, at least to me, is impossible to do. But these times make me consider a different kind of meditation; stopping for 10 minutes, wherever I am, calming myself and focusing on a single spot. It can be a nightstand lamp or the keyboard in the office; I simply let go of my thoughts, try to be light, or at least lighter, and do absolutely nothing for a few minutes. This technique helps focus on goals, and we all have a lot of those in life, don’t we?
Focus on your breathing. It’s something you can do when you’re already in bed. Breathing is a wonderful thing, it’s a source of life, after all, and it lets us know we’re alive in the here and now, which is wonderful. Breathing calms the mind, and if you can control your breathing, everyday frustrations become subdued. You can relax and even slow the beating of your heart just by breathing; when you’re in the middle of a jam or a whirlpool of trouble, breathing is what you need. Try it, take deep breaths.
I know myself, how difficult it can be to let go of your thoughts. Sometimes, I get really angry with myself for running in circles, like a cat chasing its tail. Now and then, let it all go and forget about the things that burden you so much. They often become heavier, the more we think about them, and they end up swallowing us whole. Is it worth it? Probably not. What’s more, if we think about something too much, we become less competent at the action it requires; perhaps the solution is right in front of us, but we fail to see it. So let go, right now.
I believe saying Thank you is key, and not just once. Give thanks for everything, for life most of all, for the here and now, for the people we meet on our way, for parents and friends or simply for being who we are. It’s good to keep a gratitude diary and write down all the good things that happen each day. You’ll be surprised at how many there are, many more than the bad ones; if only we were able to focus on the good instead.
Planning and the future
Planning events seems a rather demanding task, if not an impossible, since we’re supposed to be in the here and now all the time. Nobody thinks, of course, that you should forget about everything you have to do, but keep things measured. If you spend your whole day perusing the social media, for instance, ask yourself, if that’s really necessary and how is it that the internet is actually making you a better person. Perhaps we would be happier, if we were able to live without all the excess things, and perhaps we would sooner notice the things that truly matter.
Switch yourself off at least once in a while. I stay on the computer until midnight, that’s when I write emails and scenarios, and I know other women have similar habits. We often write back and forth ’till eleven in the evening, simply because the kids are asleep and that is our reality. But maybe everything doesn’t need to be turned on during weekends: the TV, computer, and telephone; I would sooner think it a good thing, if we like baking cookies or go for a trip, and believe me, the world won’t stop, if you’re not always reachable. Tried and tested.
More about this here