A GREAT PRACTICE FOR A ‘MENTALLY HEALTHY LIFE’ | Living One Day at a Time
Do you ever feel like you can barely get through today, let alone tomorrow or the day after that? Well, the reality is, thinking this way will only produce anxiety and fear of the future. And sometimes we need to bring it down to one moment at a time.
We were never meant to worry about tomorrow. Look forward to, yes but not worry about or dread.
While ever we are looking forward we are not living in the now. We are literally missing out on the many things that are going on around us in this present moment. Most of us miss what is going on NOW!
I remember an exercise my 4th class English teacher, had us do. I didn’t know it then, but it was an exercise in mindfulness.
She asked us to be very still, and listen for the many different sounds we could hear for that next two minutes. I still practice this today. Sometimes when I sit on my back deck and purposefully listen, I can hear several different birds singing, the sound of cars, rustling leaves, my heartbeat, and the wind. It really brings me right back to the here and now and brings with it such a sense of peace and serenity.
I don’t know about you but I used to live life for many years as if I was riding a rollercoaster.
I would get so excited about the good things that were coming up tomorrow or next week or in the future and being a natural optimist my expectations were so high they were almost through the roof and often extremely unrealistic. Most of the time after the event or what I had been looking forward to I felt LET DOWN. Then I would dive into the depths of despair or depression over unmet expectations.
These days I don’t get overly excited about things beforehand and try and stay on an even keel. Then whatever great things happen are a bonus. This is good practice for my mental health.
Then there is the big one!
LIVING IN THE PAST.
While ever we do this, we will be stuck… We really can’t go anywhere… If you are constantly living in yesterday you might as well be walking in quicksand.. Until you get out, you will never be free to enjoy today…
After counselling so many people and having endured myself I have come to realise that most of the traumas people face are in the ‘recollection of the suffering of the past’… We tend to bring it into the here and now with us when it has no place to be there. It is not part of our unless we make it so, so today and every day is a new day of its own.
Often we base our perception on what we ‘think’ we are able to cope with into the future based on our past experiences. It’s never a good prescription for success or happiness because today we are stronger than yesterday having overcome the challenges we have faced. With it we possess a new capacity as a result, so what we are able to do tomorrow will be greater than yesterday if we are able to look at it in this positive light.
True happiness lies in living for today. Living for today equals balance. Today is a gift. Don’t miss it. If we didn’t have the bad moments we would never appreciate the good ones. No day is perfect, but as I always say, ‘there are perfect moments in every day’. And the moments that aren’t so perfect, are opportunities for growth and compassion. So, live your life today with gratitude for whatever you can find to be grateful for.
I am so grateful I heard this saying, ‘ONE DAY AT A TIME’ all those years ago when I became clean and sober.
Back then to go one day through life without drinking seemed like an absolute impossibility. To think that I could go years without it back then was unfathomable but has proved to be possible one day at a time. For someone like me who needed alcohol and pills every single day to get through life, I know this to be so true,
Anything is possible one day at a time.