Life Is Looking Up – Living in the present moment
I went for a walk today to enjoy the beautiful fall weather but instead of paying attention to my surroundings, I was deep in thought. Suddenly I remembered where I was and how I should be focused on the warm sunshine and what could be one of the last nicer days of November.
One of my favorite ways to shift my focus to the present when I’m outdoors is to look up. I look up and notice the blue sky, clouds, and tree tops gently moving in the wind. Towards evening or at night, I love to look up and see the stars, planets, moon and sometimes the milky way. There’s something magical about looking up towards the sky that pulls me back into the present moment.
We spend so much of our waking hours not paying attention to what’s going on around us. In fact, some studies have found that our unconscious mind has us on automatic pilot mode 95% of the time! Wow! This means that most of time we’re not consciously living our life. Our actions, reactions, and thoughts are based on our ingrained habits and not choice. Most of the ~60,000 thoughts we have per day (Phew! That’s a lot!) are being generated from our default thinking mode, which for many of us can include a lot of worry, frustration, or other negative emotions.
The next time you’re outside, give it a try. Take a moment to look up, become aware of where you are, and live consciously.
Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is founder and owner of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.