Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

Even when life is going relatively well for you, sometimes it can seem difficult to simply enjoy the present moment. If this is something you can relate to, here are 3 obstacles that might be preventing you from enjoying the moment and how to overcome them.

First obstacle: Not paying attention. The brain naturally focuses on the negatives more than the positives; that’s just the way it’s built. That means that unless you consciously choose to notice the good in the present moment, you run the risk of missing it completely. This doesn’t mean pushing yourself to enjoy what’s happening or forcing a positive feeling – it’s simply pointing out that the experience is good, so your brain pays more attention to it. So the next time something good happens, try pointing it out to yourself. Every time you do this, you’ll be training your brain to pay more attention to the good, which will make way for a more positive perspective over time.

Second obstacle: Killjoy thinking. Sometimes, in the middle of a good moment, while gazing out at a beautiful view on holiday or being together with family, you might think about the fact that at some point this moment will be over, leaving you feeling sad. This type of thought is called “killjoy thinking”, and it was doing exactly that: reducing joy. The truth is, no moment can last forever, but there are two completely different ways we can respond to this reality. We can feel sad about it, or we can use that sense of impermanence to inspire us to be more present. The fact that a good moment is temporary, after all, is a reason to appreciate it more.

Being on the fence: Sometimes when you’re working, the only thought on your mind is that you can’t wait to take a break or simply relax. But then when you try to relax, you start to feel the pressure of your to-do list—you start feeling like there’s something “more important” you should be doing. This type of thinking is a surefire way to lose all joy in the moment. To regain it, be firm with yourself and pick a side. Once you do, commit to it fully.

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