05/10/2016

Living in the Moment

By: Lori Hartwell

A popular saying is “Live in the moment!”  Sounds good when it rolls off someone’s tongue or when you read it to yourself, but how do you actually do it?  I know I am happiest when I am focusing on what is right in front of me. When the committee in my head is not stuck on items not on the agenda, like what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. I can relate to the movie Inside Out.  

I know what I can’t ignore if I want to preserve my happiness. For instance,
I see the following doctors on a routine basis: a cardiologist, nephrologist, gynecologist, dermatologist, orthopedist, ophthalmologist, physical therapist and a dentist.

Doctors are supposed to help us with our health problems, and provide advice and medical recommendations. They went to medical school to learn their specialty. I have a habit of Googling whatever is going on with me, and then become (I think) an expert on the topic. The internet is full of advice.  Unfortunately, it can also reveal worst-case scenarios. Don’t get me wrong: you can find information on what questions to ask and about people who have had the same symptoms you are facing, but beyond that, internet surfing is going to rob you of living in the moment! 

Often the committee in my head is considering those worst-case scenarios of what could happen to me.  When I see my doctors, they put it all in perspective and give me a plan to move forward. 

Wow, all that grief and time spent on the internet for nothing!  So here’s a tip for living in the moment when you’re concerned about information you’ve gathered:  Ask your doctors and clinicians: they are the experts.

 

Here are a few more ways I have developed for living in the moment:  

Breathe
Take a deep breath. I love to watch the birds in my back yard and concentrate on my breathing.

Music
Singing to a song in my car just brightens my mood.

Call
Call a Friend. It is great to catch up with friends and hear what is going on in their life. I prefer the phone to texting or emailing.

Create
When I am making something, whether it be a frosted cake or beaded jewelry, I am focusing on the task at hand and my committee is silent.

Move
I don’t like the word exercise. It sounds too much like work. I prefer to play with my puppies, go walking around garage sales, or clean by organizing a closet.

Do Less
I find some of the best weekends are when my husband and I do not have plans and can just putter around the house. 

Stop Worrying
Stop worrying about the future, or thinking about the past! Focus on the present. Living in the present is the best gift you can give yourself!