Staying in the present takes a lot of practice.

Often times, people are stuck in the past or caught up with the future. Not focusing on current problems or tasks at hand can lower productivity. Furthermore, it can dampen relationships and force you to think about things that are not happening in the present time.

Leo Babauta offers a solution to this universal problem that we’ve all been stuck in before. He shines light on the benefits of staying in the moment.

Do you ever feel consumed with problems and stress?

In most cases, those feelings are caused by thinking too much. Thinking about past hurtful situations, or future obstacles that you are set to face eventually can be difficult to cope with. The problem is that your brain doesn’t know how to associate the proper timeframe with those thoughts and assumes you’re always in the present.

Read more about how to fix this mindset in the blog article below.

The Reality of This Moment | Zen Habits

As you sit here reading this, pause and expand your awareness beyond your computer/phone … what is the reality of this moment?

You’re reading, and there are a bunch of other tasks you want to do on your computer, yes … but there’s also your body. How does that feel? There’s the area around you, perhaps some people around you. There’s nature nearby.

Take a pause to become aware of the actual reality of this particular moment.

As we go through our day, we’re often stressed because of all the things we have to do, the things we’re not doing. We worry about how things will go in the future, and procrastinate because we’re afraid of an overwhelming task. We feel we’re not good enough, we compare ourselves to others, we fall short of some ideal. We replay a conversation that already happened.

That’s all in our heads, but it’s all fantasy. The reality of this specific moment is that you’re OK. Better than OK, actually: there are so many good things to be grateful for, in this moment.

And there are the particulars of the moment that only exist, right now. The combination of sounds and colors and shapes and smells around you will never exist in this particular combination ever again. The way your body feels, the thought that pops into your head in the next moment, will never exist again, ever.

You yourself are changing all the time. We think of ourselves as one unchanging entity, but the self that you are right now is different than the one you were before you read this article. And that was different than the one who woke up this morning, because various things interacted with you to change you in small (or large) ways.

So the you that exists right now will change in a moment, from interacting with the particulars of the next moment. The you that exists right now will never exist again.

This is the ever-changing, impermanent nature of you. And in truth, every single thing around you is changing all the time, sometimes in less obvious ways. Everyone around you is changing. Each moment is a fluid snapshot of impermanent changing entities, interacting with each other.

That’s the reality of this moment. Don’t miss it.

And this awareness is available to you all the time. Throughout the day, as you start to worry and get lost in your tasks, ask yourself, “What’s the reality of this moment?”

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