Walk The Fine Line Between Past And Future.

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This article for goldfish:

  • A Harvard study has shown people are most happy when living in the moment.
  • The average person spends nearly half (46.7%) of their waking hours thinking about the past or the future.
  • Use meditation to rewire your brain and spend more time in the present moment.

This article for humans:

The present is nothing but a fine line between what happened before (the past) and what’s going to happen next (the future). It’s hard to grasp, because by the time you realize something is in the present, it’s already in the past – that’s how fine this line is. It’s an important fine line though. This is where life happens.

On average, people only spend 53.3% of their waking hours thinking about the present moment. The rest of the waking hours are used to remunerate a past that cannot be changed, and worrying about an uncertain future. This is called mind wandering. In this situation your mind is in a different place then where you are right now (the present).

Studies have shown that people are most happy when they live in the moment, even when nothing particularly exciting is happening in that moment. The high amount of time spent on mind wandering is unique for humans. Dogs, for instance, are wired differently: they’re masters of living in the moment. The good news is: you can become a master as well, but it takes practice. When meditating, you’re doing exactly that.

Meditation is about separating yourself from your thoughts. 

Get in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take deep inhales, exhale slowly, and try to think about nothing else. Become an observer of what’s going on from within – without judging. Nothing is good, nothing is bad – it just ‘is’. You’ll notice that thinking about nothing is not easy. Thoughts will come, thoughts will go. Notice them, and patiently bring back your focus to your breathing.

Meditation will clear your head and calm your mind. Don’t expect to be good at meditating the first time (just like you can’t expect a six pack after one workout), it takes practise. Start slow, maybe meditate for 5 or 10 minutes before going to bed. It will help you sleep.

Eventually you will be able to notice when your mind wanders off to the past or the future while living everyday life, and you’ll be able to bring your thoughts back to the present when you want to. Meditation helps to let go of stress, which often comes from remunerating the past and worrying about the future.

Walk the fine line between past and future. Be in the moment as often as you can. This is where happiness lies.

Dive deeper: 
‘Want to be happier? Stay in the moment’ – TED talk by Matt Killingsworth.’

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About the author

Wesley van der Hoop

Living in The Bahamas, I get excited about digital marketing, writing, traveling, surfing, learning new things, and above all - penguins.

About Wisdom for Goldfish
About Wesley van der Hoop

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